The two top teams of the W-League went head to head this afternoon in the Starfire Sports Stadium. The Sounders Women were unbeaten on the season until today.
True to Seattle, the game kicked off with light rain and loud fans.
Sounders forward, Janine Beckie, opened up the action in the 5th minute when she hit a volley into the wrong side of the side netting. Then in the 15th minute, Mele French for Pali opened up the scoring. She received a perfect little chipped ball from Samantha Mewis, settled it, and then drove it home hard off of the post to give Pali a 1-0 lead. Then just 10 minutes later French put another one in the back of the net. She was tip-toeing along the 18-yard box, keeping the ball close to her foot and then fired off a well placed shot into the top of the net.
In the 37th minute Pali found their 3rd goal of the half. Rachel Nuzzolese was able to turn on a Sounders defender, creating enough space to hit a left-footed rocket into the far post upper-v.
Pali dominated possession in the first half and French was causing all sorts of problems for the Sounders defense. The Sounders just could not find a consistent rhythm.
The half ended with a 3-0 lead for Pali Blues.
In the 2nd half, Mele was once again the source of excitement. She found herself one-on-one with the Sounders keeper, Erin McNulty, but was unable to put it past her for the hat-trick.
The Sounders brought on substitutes in the second half and with the new players came a new energy. The Sounders began to press more and play more offensively. They played like they had nothing to lose, because they didn’t. The Sounders almost got on the scoreboard in the 60th minute; Sarah Campbell chipped a beautiful through ball to Janine Beckie and Beckie hit an absolute rocket shot but was denied by the post. Unfortunately this was the best play of the game for the Sounders. They pressured hard but Pali sat back and played defense to protect the lead. The Sounders were unable to create any real goal scoring opportunities.
The match ended 3-0 and Sounders recorded their first loss of the season. You can expect the Sounders to come back and play hard next weekend to maintain their spot as the top team in the W-League.
Find more information on the Sounders Women on their website.