San Diego Sunwaves News Release - www.sandiegosunwaves.com
Friday, July 27, 2007
SAN DIEGO, CA -- The Seattle Sounders defeated the San Diego Sunwaves 2-1 in the Western Conference Championship playoff match before 848 fans at Southwestern College's DeVore Stadium on Friday night.
Sunwaves players were so confident of advancing to the USL W-League championship round next weekend in Rochester, New York that they'd already cancelled previous commitments, planning to be out of town the first week in August.
Apparently the Seattle Sounders weren't aware of those plans, as their steady, aggressive play derailed the Sunwaves travel plans and hopes for a championship in their inaugural season.
Seattle, essentially the wild card team that the Sunwaves beat in the season finale last Sunday in San Diego to claim the Western Conference Championship, prevailed last night, also winning the season series 3-1.
Similar to last week's match, the Sunwaves opened the scoring when USD's Amy Epsten scored at the 30 minute mark putting the ball past former San Diego Spirit and WUSA star goalie Carly Smolak for a 1-0 lead. Jayme Cargnoni was credited with the assist.
But Seattle answered quickly, at the 34th minute when the Sounders Dani Bridges headed in a jump ball near the Sunwaves goal for a score. Malia Arrant received the assist. The half ended in a 1-1 tie.
The second half was fairly even until the 60th minute when Seattle's Lyndsay Patterson put in a Michelle French feed for a 2-1 lead.
And despite a flurry of Sunwaves chances, that's how the game and the Sunwaves season would end, with a disappointing 2-1 loss and elimination from the playoffs.
"We were just a little off our game," commented Coach Elio Bello on the loss. "Seattle's a good team and they capitalized on a couple of our mistakes. They played a well-organized game. And we didn't take advantage of the opportunities we had."
Despite the loss the all agreed Sunwaves have much to be proud of and build upon. Taking into account that the Sunwaves are the new iteration of the former San Diego Gauchos; this inaugural Sunwaves team went from worst to first. Bello's optimistic for the future, saying that all the players, including Mexican superstar Maribel Dominguez want to come back and play for the Sunwaves next year.
"We've added quite a bit of talent since the last Gauchos team," added Sunwaves Goalkeeper Sophia Perez, a former Gauchos player. "It's amazing what a year can bring. We're a very good team that will be around for quite awhile."
Team co-owner Scott McDermand echoed Bello's and Perez's sentiments. "We're very proud of these girls. They're not only amazing athletes, but great role models. They played their hearts out all year and had a great season. We're so impressed with how they've carried themselves, both on and off the field."
Keep abreast of Sunwaves news and happenings - tournament and camps in the off-season -by going to www.sandiegosunwaves.com; or by calling 619.303.7290.
Please consider sponsoring the Sunwaves as they defend their USL W-League Western Conference crown for the 2008 season. There are many unique opportunities to align your product or service with the team. Please contact TJ LaFlam at 619.742.9500 for more information. And many thanks to all the fans, sponsors and supporters this season. Without you, none of this would be possible.