Seattle Sounders Women News Release -- www.sounderswomen.com
Friday, June 8, 2012
TUKWILA, WA – The Seattle Sounders Women and Vancouver Whitecaps FC played out their W-League rivalry for the 40th time on Friday night to a 0-0 tie in front of 4,500 fans at the sold out Starfire Stadium.
The Sounders Women entered Friday night's contest with a 4-0-0 record and battling for top spot in the Western Conference. On paper, the Sounders may have seemed the favorites to take the three points in this fierce showdown but it's what takes place on the field that counts. After beginning the season with three consecutive losses the Whitecaps have now earned two draws in their past two games.
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 first 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 second half in an 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 come 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. 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 1, and on Friday, it looked like the combination would repeat 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 second place in the Western Conference with 13 points from five games. Vancouver notches their second point of the season and sits in sixth place.
The Sounders have over a week to train before their next W-League match on June 17. The Sounders will host the Los Angeles Strikers on Sunday at 4 p.m. PST. Tickets are available at SoundersWomen.com