Through a tough battle on Sunday afternoon at Starfire Stadium, the Sounders (18pts, 6-3-0) snatched a 2-1 victory against third place in the Western Conference, Bay Area Breeze (19pts, 6-4-1). The win moves the Sounders up the table with a game still in hand over their competition, and firmly in the playoff hunt.
With an eventful start to the match, back-to-back goals were scored in the 3rd and 4th minute. The goals were scored first by Bay Area, following the Seattle Sounders. Up until the 89th minute of the match, the outcome was a mystery. That’s when Jaclyn Softli got on the end of a through ball and she scored the game-winning goal for Seattle.
Bay Area Breeze applied solid pressured on the Sounders in the first three minutes of the match, resulting in a goal. As the ball was being volleyed in and out of the penalty box, the Sounders attempted to defend the goal, but couldn’t halt the soaring ball that defender Gina Woodworth headed home to the top left corner for a 0-1 Breeze lead.
The Sounders waited no time to equalize the match. In the 4th minute, Seattle passed back and forth in Bay Area territory where forward Cara Ledman opened up a scoring opportunity— only to have a Breeze defender boot it out of the penalty box. Midfielder Lyndsey Patterson was prepared for the rebound and drilled the ground-ball home for an equalizer goal, 1-1.
Throughout the first 45 minutes, the Sounders maintained pressure on Bay Area. Seattle kept possession in the Breeze zone for a large portion of the half, but were unable to take as many shots as Bay Area — Seattle tallied 5 shots, while Breeze totaled 9.
The halftime score ended in a 1-1 draw.
Upon returning from the halftime break, the Sounders had a hard time maintaining possession over Bay Area. A mass amount of the possession was maintained by Breeze in Sounders territory, with the Sounders taking 11 shots, and Bay Area taking 24.
In the 61st minute, Bay Area Allie Dutto wiped Sounders Emma Follis out in the 18-yard box. Sounders received a penalty kick but drilled the ball to the right side of the goal and goalkeeper Emily Kruger shuffled for the save.
In the 85th minute, Bay Area was inches away from taking the lead. Substitute Jordan O’brien received a ball in the 18-yard box and pierced a shot to the right crossbar, forcing Anna Picarelli to make a diving save.
A through ball by substitute Elise Wyatt in the 89th minute created the play for the game-winning goal. Wyatt sent a through ball just outside of the 18-yard box to forward Jaclyn Softli who went one-on-one with the Breeze Goalkeeper, Kruger, and sent the ball home for a 2-1 victory.
Currently, the Sounders have played in two less matches than Bay Area Breeze, holding a fourth place position in the Western Conference. The Sounders are trailing the LA Blues, Colorado Pride and Bay Area Breeze.
For the W-League playoffs, the first and second ranked seeds will compete against each other, in which the winner will advance to the National Final Four in Tampa, Florida.
The Sounders will compete in their last three matches of the W-League season on the road in Colorado. The Sounders will face Colorado Rush (17pts, 5-3-2) on July 9, Colorado Pride (22pts, 7-2-1) on July 11 and Colorado Storm (0pts, 0-10-0) on July 13. For match coverage and details, visit SoundersWomen.com.
Bay Area: Gina Woodworth — 3rd minute
Sounders: Lyndsey Patterson — 4th minute
Sounders: Jaclyn Softli— 89th minute
Seattle Sounders Women: Anna Picarelli, Rachel Pitman, Rachel Melhado (Kellyn Farell- 80st minute), Brooke Gilbert, Cara Ledman, Taylor Comeau, Brittany Baxter (Joana Houplin- 76th minute), Sharis Lachappelle (Emma Follis- 39th minute), Jaclyn Softli, Lyndsey Patterson (Kelsey Hodges- 90th minute), Ifeoma Onomunu (Elise Wyatt- 68th minute)
Substitutes Not Used: Kayla Klim, Annie Sittauer
Bay Area Breeze: Emily Kruger, Danielle Johnson, Gina Woodward, Genessee Daughetee, Hannah Koski (Allie Dutto- halftime), Kristina Hall (Jordan O’Brien- 68th minute), Alena Thom (Margueritte Aozasa- 62nd minute), Erica Wheeler-Dublin (Leah Morales- 62nd minute), Rachel Mercik (Stephanie Wieger- 80th minute), Samantha Brand, Anisa Guajardo
Substitutes Not Used: Yiana Dimmitt
Referee: Bradley Wiggins
Referee’s Assistants: Darin Tugman, Abduraman Kenan
Time of Game: 4:00 p.m. PST
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial