On this beautiful 70 degree night the Sounders Women faced off with the University of Washington Women. The Starfire Sports Stadium was full of energy for this one – the cheering battle between the Sounders and UW fans was almost as intense as the battle on the field.
The action picked up quickly. In the 6th minute, Mellisa Busque, midfielder for the Sounders Women ripped in a shot, but the UW keeper came up with a big save to push it wide. The Sounders had another great chance again in the 8th minute. Megan Lindsay connected with a nice header off free kick, but defender, McKenzie Karas, cleared it off the line. Although this was a pre-season game, it was a very physical one. The Sounders took 4 free kicks in the first 12 minutes. Neither team was possessing the ball that well, but both teams were playing fast and hard, which led to opportunities for both teams. UW midfielder, Lindsay Elstan, hit an absolute missile from the corner of the 18 yard box in the 21st minute, but it missed just wide of the post. In the 35th minute Lindsay Elstan was once again in the thick of the action. She made a streaking run down the far side of the field as Isabel Farrell whipped in a nice cross. The ball found Lindsay Elstan’s right foot beautifully and she found the back of the net off a right footed scorcher. The goal gave UW a 1-0 lead. The Sounders threatened to score twice just minutes before the end of the half, but were unable to finish the chances. The game went to halftime with UW leading 1-0.
The Sounders looked a lot better in the 2nd half. The game was played with the same pace as the first, but the Sounders were creating better attacks out of the midfield. Sounders created another great opportunity off of a free-kick around 30 yards out. Sounders defender, Maggie Schrader, had a nice downward header, but UW’s keeper had an even better save to keep it out of the goal. Both teams were putting the opposing teams’ defense to work in the 2nd half. The game was fast and so were the attacks. In the 74th minute Sounders defender, Elizabeth Russel, took the ball up the field on a counter-attack and surprised everyone (including UW’s keeper) with a shot from about 35 yards out. The keeper wasn’t able to stop it, but unfortunately for the Sounders the crossbar was.
With time winding down, the home team crowd was tense and hopeful for some late game heroics. With just 8 minutes left in the game they would see just that. Mellisa Busque drove in a corner kick and Sounders Defender, Brigit Reder, got her body in front of it to get it across the goal line. It was the equalizer they needed. Each team had its chances in the following minutes, but neither team could capitalize to get the game winning goal. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.
The Sounders Women’s next home game is on May 17th against Vancouver and they will be playing here at Starfire Sports Stadium.