Whatcom wins first NWAACC title
Tukwila, WASH-The Whatcom Orcas won their first NWAACC championship in only their second year of existence. They defeated a feisty Bellevue team 1-0 in a physical contest. The only goal of the game was scored by Bryan Iotte (assisted by Aaron Leonard) in the 13th minute of the contest.
The Orcas' defense did an excellent job of neutralizing Richard Romain-Dika who was one of the NWAACC's leading scorers for the season. The Bulldogs had several opportunities to tie the game, but Whatcom's goalie Robbie Wright was like a rock.
Toward the end of the game, Bellevue received a few free kicks within 25 yards of the Whatcom goal, but Wright and the Orca defense held strong. With under a minute remaining, one such kick hit the crossbar. A few seconds later, Bellevue's goal keeper, Claudio Lazar was pulled and nearly scored twice in the closing moments.
Despite all of Bellevue's efforts, they were shut out by Wright who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Whatcom head coach Brian Iblings was named the tournament Coach of the Year.