Clutch Goals, Weekend Sweep Lift Steelheads To Second Place Finish

Dorian Lair and his defense earned back-to-back shutouts to close out the Steelheads’ 2021 WWPL season.

SNOHOMISH, WA—The Snohomish County FC Steelheads earned back-to-back 1-0 away wins on September 11 and 12 to secure second place for the season in the Western Washington Premier League (WWPL). In two seasons of competition in organized league play the Fish now have one championship (2019) and one runners up spot (2021).

MORE: Final 2021 Player Stats

Snohomish County 1-0 Federal Way FC (September 11)

The Steelheads battled back and forth with Federal Way FC on Saturday September 11 at Saghalie Park. The Fish defense was called upon several times to keep the match scoreless. It stayed that way until the 85th minute. Then Devin Sutomo scored his first SnoCo FC goal to provide the match winner. The assist on the score came from Rio Alcorta. The late win pushed the Steelheads to 27 points in the WWPL table, 2 points ahead of Nido Aguila Seattle for the second spot.

Key Figures: Karim Piottin (far left), Isaac Rodriguez (center) and Dorian Lair all played key roles in the Steelheads’ 1-0 win at Harbor Force which clinched a runners up finish for the Fish in 2021.

Snohomish County 1-0 Harbor Force (September 12)

Sunday night September 12 at Gig Harbor High School the Steelheads squared off against the Harbor Force. The Fish had to withstand a flurry of early pressure from the home side. Eventually SnoCo FC found their footing and even created several scoring chances in the first half off of set plays. Dorian Lair battled direct sunlight in his eyes but found a way with the help of his defenders to keep the match scoreless at the break.

Halftime adjustments at Harbor included Head Coach Dagi Kesim putting Isaac Rodriguez in at center forward. The move would eventually pay off for the Fish.

The second half began with increased energy and chatter between the sides. Both were hungry to score first and take home a win. Again the Fish had chances on set plays, but it would take one of the most spectacular goals in team history to win this one.

As time ticked down towards the final whistle, Snohomish put pressure on the Harbor goal. A throw-in was earned on the right side. Karim Piottin took it, lobbing one into the penalty area. The ball was headed back out to Karim as he reentered the pitch. Piottin then effortlessly approached the ball with his right foot but dragged his left quickly behind, putting a “rabona” cross at the top of the arc. Isaac Rodriguez waited there for the pass to arrive and then scissor kicked a shot that went through a crowd of defenders and nestled in the far left lower corner of the Harbor goal. In the 89th minute it was 1-0 Fish.

The Steelheads battled the Harbor attack and the evening glare of the sun in the first half.

Seconds later the final whistle blew and Snohomish County had earned 3 more standings points and secured second place for the 2021 WWPL season. After the match players and coaches gathered to talk about the weekend and to address veteran players for their years of service to the team. Rio Alcorta is scheduled to be moving away. John Troka’s life changes might see his playing days diminish. Nothing is certain except that these guys and all the others gave their all for the team, and Dagi Kesim’s gang finished the season with pride and conviction.

Post match, players and coaches share appreciation for another excellent season for the Fish.

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