BELLEVUE, Wash. – (club report) The Sounders Women battled the Washington State Cougars to a 2-2 draw Sunday afternoon at Bellevue Memorial Stadium. After giving up a pair of goals in the first half, losing an early lead, the Sounders Women fought back in the second half to even the score in their first exhibition match of the 2015 season.
In the third minute the Cougars threatened to get on the scoreboard first. Cougars forward Kaitlyn Johnson ran on to a ball played over the top of the Sounders defense. Sounders Women goal keeper Caroline Stanley raced off of her line to cut down the attacker’s shooting angles then blocked the shot, saving the Sounders from an early deficit.
The Sounders Women broke the ice with the first goal of the match in the 16th minute. Sounders forward, Allie Jackstadt, picked up a loose ball at the top of the box and looked around for oncoming defenders. With the Cougar defense late to close her down, Jackstadt put the ball on her right foot and sent a shot toward the goal with power. The ball took a deflection on its way past a helpless Cougars goal keeper for the 1-0 Sounders Women lead.
Then in the 20th minute the Cougars evened the score thanks to a nice touch from forward Kailiana Johnson. A looping cross came into the Sounders Women box from the right side and found Johnson running on unmarked. Stanley was off of her line again in an attempt to intercept the cross, but Johnson was able to reach out with her right foot and touched the ball into the near side netting for the 1-1 score.
Just six minutes later, the Cougars were on top after another breakaway opportunity behind the Sounders defense. Kaitlyn Johnson was ready for the oncoming Stanley this time as she ran into the box with the ball. With the outside of her right foot she pushed to ball around the diving Stanley and then slid a shot past a desperate Sounders defender and into the goal for the 2-1 lead.
The Sounders Women were able to keep the Cougars from adding to their lead for the remainder of the half, but ultimately went into the half time locker room looking at a 2-1 deficit.
The Sounders Women were quick to even the score only six minutes into the second half in the 51st minute. After a poor clearance by the WSU defenders on a Sounders Women corner, the ball trickled out to the top of the box toward Jocelyn Giammalva. The Sounders midfielder hit her shot first time from a tough angle along the right side of the box. Giammalva’s strike was pure as it flew just over the reach of the Cougars goal keeper and kissed the underside of the crossbar on its way into the upper corner to level the game at 2-2.
For the rest of the second half the two sides went right after each other in search of the winning goal, but the defenses held true and the full time whistle blew with the game knotted at 2-2.
Next up for the Sounders Women is a meeting with the University of Washington Huskies on April 30th. The teams will compete in another exhibition style match at 8:00 p.m. at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash. For more information, visit SoundersWomen.com.
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