The University of Washington and the Seattle Sounders Women played to a 1-1 draw in the Sounders’ final college exhibition match of the season in front of a crowd of 1,623.
On a warm Friday night at Starfire Sports in Tukwila, Washington, Sounders Women defender Brigit Reder equalized the match on an 83rd minute corner kick. That goal came in response to a 35th minute finish by Lindsay Elston for Washington.
Reder said following the game, “We had countless opportunities; it was a matter of just finding the end of it on one of them. It went off my shoulder, not the head, it’s not a pretty goal, but at the end of the day, it’s one-one on the scoreboard.”
The University of Washington fielded five players that will join the very team they were matched up against Friday night. Midfielders Lindsay Elton and Isabel Farrell, forward Allie Beahan, defender Annie Sittauer, and goalkeeper Megan Kufeld will all join the Sounders for the W-League campaign.
The game was a tale of two halves, as the University of Washington controlled the tempo and created most of the first half chances, connecting on one in the 35th minute.
Washington midfielder Isabel Farrell created space high on the left side of the penalty area and sent a cross down to Jaclyn Softli, who could not quite reach the header with her leap. The ball fell past her to the foot of Lindsay Elston, who quickly tucked it into the goal past the diving effort of goalkeeper Erin McNulty.
“I knew she was going to finish it right when it got there,” said future Sounders Women player, Isabel Farrell.
Washington took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
The story changed in the second half and the trailing Sounders Women began to push the tempo and dominate possession. In the 53th minute, Sounders midfielder Melissa Busque sent a free kick deep into the box to the head of Reder, but the effort was punched away by future Sounder Kufeld.
On a crucial call in the 69th minute Melissa Busque took the ball into the box, and was tackled by Washington defender Annie Sittauer on a slide that could have sent the Sounders to the penalty spot, but instead, cut out the chance.
Sounders’ defender Elizabeth Russell found space on the left half of the pitch in the 74th minute, and fired a screaming ball from about 30 yards out. Washington goalkeeper Kufeld backed up and reached to save the ball but only the crossbar was there to deny Russell’s attempt.
In a fast-paced and physical match-up between two teams with a lot of intertwined personnel, the hard work and determination to keep fighting paid off on both ends when the Sounders finally equalized in the 83rd minute. Busque sent a corner kick to the back post, where the ever present Brigit Reder rose to meet the cross. Amongst defenders and the upright, she turned and glanced it home off her shoulder.
Chances continued throughout the last ten minutes of the match for both teams, but none were able to break the draw in the end.
The Sounders Women next home match is May 17 against long-time Cascadian rivals, the Vancouver Whitecaps. Tickets for this match and the rest of the season are currently on sale on SoundersWomen.com.