Veronica Perez scores the 2nd goal of the match (photo by Jane Gershovich, SoundersWomen.com)
Coquitlam, BC Canada - The Sounders started their W-League campaign with a 2-0 victory over Cascadian rivals, the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Sounders pulled out two 2nd half goals from Megan Manthey and Veronica Perez for the win. Substituting for Hope Solo, Katie Hultin, proved that the Sounders are in good hands with or without their superstar as she recorded four fantastic saves for the shutout.
The Sounders Women created the first chance of the match in the 6th minute, the same way they scored multiple goals in the exhibition season; off a corner kick. The ball was swung in and miss-played by goalkeeper, Clair Gurveen. The deflected ball fell right in front of the goal line and multiple players hacked away for at least five seconds, but they couldn’t put it in.
In the 17th minute, the Whitecaps got their first shot of the match. A misplaced pass across the back four opened up a shooting chance, 30 yards away from the Sounders goal. Jenna Richardson saw a chance to turn and go towards goal. Her long shot flew well over the bar.
A minute later, despite the majority of possession, the Sounders gave up another long shot opportunity on a quick counter attack. Again, the chance fell to Richardson and her shot was off frame.
Each team traded opportunities for the next 10 minutes, until the 31st minute. The Whitecaps again found chances in front of the Sounders net. The first opportunity was a cross headed wide by MaryKate McLaughlin. The 2nd and third chances opened up for Richardson on the right side of the goal. Her first shot hit side netting, and her 2nd was scuffed for an easy Katie Hultin save.
In the 42nd minute, the Sounders earned a corner kick off a great slashing run from Lindsay Elston. Megan Meanthey delivered the corner which almost whipped into the net without a touch. Clair tipped it over in the Whitecaps net. The ensuing corner was cleared out to Veronica Perez. The Mexican National Teamer struck a first touch shot and tested the Vancouver keeper, but was saved.
The first half was played mostly from back to front, with midfields seldom utilized. When the Sounders were able to connect the two, they dominated the possession. Mexican national teamer, Veronica Perez, found more and more touches as the half went on. A rough estimate would say possession was in favor 55%-45% in favor of the Sounders, with goal scoring opportunities; even.
HALFTIME – Sounders Women 0-0 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Just two minutes into the 2nd half, the Sounders broke the deadlock. With two halftime substitutions, the lineup changed and allowed right back, Victoria Frederick, to move up to right wing. She immediately got involved with a nice cross right in front of the Whitecaps goal. Lyndsey Patterson and Megan Manthey were both crashing towards the goal and Manthey was able to beat out the Vancouver defenders and goalkeeper to head it into the open net. Patterson took a knock to the head in the process, but she was able to continue play after some brief treatment.
The Whitecaps responded in the 51st minute. A nice combination through midfield set up Mele French with a step on the Sounders defense. Her shot opened up just the Katie Hultin’s right. French drove a shot to the back post but Hultin read it perfectly and stretched out for the block.
Things simmered down for the next 35 minutes. Neither team generated dangerous chances until the 81st minute. Out of nowhere, Veronica Perez put her stamp on the match. She picked the ball up 40 yards from goal. Perez took two touches and rather than playing a pass to her teammates ahead she elected to launch a long shot. The low drive knuckled and bounced into the bottom right corner off the finger tips of the Whitecaps goalkeeper for a 2-0 Sounders lead.
Vancouver pushed players forward and the ball spent most of the final 10 minutes in their attacking end. Katie Hultin did everything she could to hold her clean sheet. In the 86th minute a lofted shot again tested the Sounders goalkeeper. This time, it was her right side that was called into action, as she impressively stretched to tip the ball wide for the save.
The win gives the Sounders three points from one match played in the W-League Regular Season. The goal from Manthey is her 1st of the season. The Perez strike is her 4th on the season. Each of her goals has come from shots outside the penalty area.
The first Sounders Regular Season home match is on May 31st at 7 pm against the Colorado Rush. Tickets are still available for purchase on the club’s website; www.SoundersWomen.com.
Jet City Auxilary, supporting the Sounders on the road! (photo by Jane Gershovich, SoundersWomen.com)
Match Statistics – Sounders/Whitecaps
Shots – 7/11
Fouls – 17/11
Corners – 5/2
Offside – 0/5
– GK- Clair, 3-Richardson, 4-Johnson, 8-Stokes, 18-Setterlund (45th-6-Sawicki (74th-19-Rouse)) 16-McLaughlin, 22-Vega (40th-21-Adams), 23-Jeffers, 28-Galindo (74th-2-Patterson), 29-French, 33-Woeller
Sounders Women – GK Katie Hultin, D-4 Kate Deines, D-28 Brooke Gilbert, D-22 Victoria Frederick, D-19 Annie Sittauer (63rd-25-Lindsay Johnson), M-9 Julia Roberts (45th-20 Ashley Willis), M-21 Lindsay Elston, M-17 Veronica Perez, M-10 Sophie Reiser (45th-27 Nicole Stanton), F-16 Lyndsey Patterson, F-8 Megan Manthey (74th-24 Kara Kuttler)
Vancouver Whitecaps - -
Sounders Women– 47th min – Manthey (Frederick) / 81st min – Perez
Vancouver Whitecaps– -
Sounders Women – 28th min, 21-Elston / 83rd min, 16-Patterson