The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
Tukwila, WA – The Sounders and Whitecaps played out their W-League rivalry for the 40th time on Friday night. The two teams played out a frustrating 0-0 tie in front of 4,500 fans at the sold out Starfire Stadium.
Sounders Women Press Release
On paper, the Sounders Women, with their four wins and zero losses in W-League play would have rolled over their winless Vancouver opponents. However, due to the rivalry, a lack of national team attackers, or just a bad outing, the Sounders couldn’t conjure up a goal to earn three points.
Katie Hultin made her third appearance in goal for the Sounders Women in place of Hope Solo. Hultin made three big saves, two coming in the 1st half. On both 1st half saves, Hultin read the Whitecaps attempt to knock the ball over the Sounders back line and she snuffed out the chance near the edge of the penalty area.
The best chance of the 1st half for the Sounders came in the 16th minute. After a nice string of passes in the midfield, Megan Manthey crossed a low ball to the penalty spot. Lyndsey Patterson ran up to take a point blank shot but just before the ball released from her foot, it was blocked by a Whitecap defender.
The Sounders coaching staff made adjustments in the 2nd half in attempt to change the match. They brought in Sophie Reiser, Kara Kuttler, and Allie Beahan just after the hour mark and that seemed to spark the Sounders positively.
The Sounders first legitimate chance didn’t arise until the 74th minute. Team USA veteran, Stephanie Cox, touched the ball to her inside foot and launched a shot from 30 yards out. Her angled shot smacked off the far post upright and out. Two inches to the left and Cox would have scored a goal in back to back matches.
Just two minutes later, the Whitecaps looked like they might steal away the victory when Mele French got on the end of a nice through ball and had a one on one with Hultin. The Sounders keeper cut down French’s angle and made the save. These 90 minutes without a goal against Hultin gives her 270 minutes on the season scoreless.
The final chance of the night came off a Sophie Reiser corner kick in the 84th minute. Reiser found Keelin Winters for the game winning goal in Victoria on June 1st, and on Friday, it looked like the combination would repeat for success. However, this time when Winters rose and nodded the ball back towards the goal, it was punched off the line by Vancouver goalkeeper, Gurveen Clair.
The tie puts the Sounders Women in 2nd place in the Western Conference with 13 points from five games. Vancouver notches their 2nd point of the season for 6th place.
The Sounders have over a week to train before their next W-League match on June 17th. The Sounders will host the Los Angeles Strikers on Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are available at SoundersWomen.com.