Sounders Women News Release - www.sounderswomen.com
Monday, July 15, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The Sounders Women (7-3-2) fell 2-0 against the Bay Area Breeze (4-6-2) in the final match of the W-League season Sunday. Based on other results in the final day of regular-season play, the Sounders needed a tie to advance to the Western Conference Championship, but conceded a penalty in the first half and were never able to convert a goal to earn the necessary points.
Despite occupying the top spot in the Western Conference for nearly the entire year, the Sounders finish third in the conference, missing a top-two spot (and playoff qualification) by one point.
The Sounders started well on Sunday evening at historic Kezar Stadium, in the heart of San Francisco. The Sounders generated seven corners and forced saves from Yianna Dimmit and her defenders in the first half. However, the Breeze scored on a penalty kick in the 16th minute when Najma Homidi was tackled in the area and Leah Morales converted the penalty.
The Sounders nearly scored at the end of the first half, as they’ve done so many times this season. Tafara Pulse had two half-volleys from the edge of the penalty box. The first was glanced over the bar by a defender’s head. The second attempt was saved by Dimmit, who recollected a small bobble before Rachel Mercik could put in the rebound.
The Sounders brought on U-20 USA National Team member Isabel Farrell and U-20 Mexico National Team member Sophia Huerta at halftime and each looked dangerous, but Seattle couldn’t find the final pass necessary to turn chances into goals.
As the Sounders pushed forward for a goal they desperately needed, the Breeze countered to put the game out of reach. Gina Woodward beat the Sounders offside trap and was clear to cross to a streaking Brandi Vega to tap it home in the 72nd minute.
The Sounders pushed extra players forward in the dying moments but had headers, shots, and deflections go wide of the net.
With the loss, the Sounders finish the season with 23 points, one behind the Los Angeles Strikers, who Seattle defeated twice this year, and three points behind the Pali Blues. The Blues will host the Strikers on Sunday for the Western Conference Championship. The winner will represent the Western Conference in the W-League Championship.