Melissa Busque has been called to the Canadian National Senior Team in Germany. The Fab Five Huskies are preparing for their trip to Italy and Jenna Richardson is completing school at Oregon State. Also out for the second match was Genessee Daughetee with a slight knee injury.
On Friday, the Sounders Women fought not only the Colorado Rapids, but 30 mile per hour winds as well. The wind played a huge part in the game, making the flight of the ball change in mid pass, and pushing the ball farther than anticipated. The Rapids really started with a bang, dominating possession and out shooting the Sounders 8-5. The Sounders managed to score first in the 14th minute, off a set piece that was cleared out as far as M'ily Reiter, who sent a chip pass back toward goal, which was helped into the bottom corner by Rachel Mercik. They scored their second goal in the 39th minute. Tafara Pulse hit a half-valley from about 35 yards out which beat the Rapids keeper into the bottom right corner.
The Sounders started the second half where they had left off. In control and scoring goals. In the 53rd minute, Jaelene Hinkle sent a cross in from the left, which was intercepted by a Rapids player, but not cleared. The ball was poked into the goal by Mercik.
In the 72nd minute, the wind kicked up and the pace of the match changed. Chloe Roberts, of the Rapids won the ball in the midfield and sent a ball through to Kristen Hamilton who finished with a goal. Communication over the wind was difficult, and Hamilton wasn't finished. She took the ball down the right side, and all the way into the box, then she finished with her second goal. After the goal, the ref blew the whistle for full time, and the Sounders got out with the victory.
On Sunday, the Sounders faced the Colorado Rush. It was discovered between the games that player of the week, Erin McNulty, is suffering from bronchitis. That makes her performances all the more impressive. Jaelene Hinkle found herself playing up top again, and Janine Beckie was still on fire in front of her home crowd.
The Rush started aggressively, much like the Rapids, their first cross in front of McNulty was taken in the 6th minute, but no one was on the back post. The restart was taken quickly, and the Sounders had their first strong shot on goal by Beckie in the 7th minute. The Rush star, Danica Evans kept up the pressure on the Sounders goal, with a strong header that went over the bar for a goal kick.
In the 10th minute, the Sounders Women opened their scoring ticket with a goal by Janine Beckie. That was her first of the regular season, and in front of her home crowd no less. The action was end to end, with good possession from both sides. Both sides had solid shots, but neither could finish. In the 42nd minute, Holland Crook went down with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Sara Campbell. In the 45th minute, Hinkle scored her brace.
There were no subs for the start of the second half. Both teams were fighting fatigue, elevation and heat. The play was still end to end. In the 51st minute, Sara Campbell shot from distance and it sailed into the upper V for the 3rd goal of the game. In the 60th minute, the Sounders scored off a corner. It was credited to Beckie, but she believes that Shannon Woeller is actually the one that redirected it into the net. The Rush were not going down without a fight, and several shots were peppered at McNulty, who was up to the task once again. After three minutes of added time, the Sounders finished the game with a 4-0 victory, and six points from their trip to Colorado.
The Sounders Women are still one point ahead of the Pali Blues for the lead in the Western Conference. The Blues were also in Colorado this weekend and also beat both the Rapids and the Rush. The next match will be the first time we've seen the Bay Area Breeze. The game is at Starfire, on Friday at 7:00. Then on Sunday at 3:00, Pali will be at Starfire.