BRING ON THE LADY GIRAFFES!
Our girls will be back on the pitch at Starfire next Saturday (August 7th) at 5pm to take on the Tanzania National Side.
Tickets are FREE, but donations are being accepted to help support our ladies, so fork over a 5-spot & keep our girls looking good on the pitch. Also, wear a kit & you'll be entered into a free raffle for 2011 season tickets.
Pali did their job this final weekend of the 2010 regular season with a 4:0 slaughter of the Colorado Rush. For our Sounders, one goal wouldn't prove enough against the Whitecaps in Victoria and Pali has taken the final spot in the W-League's Western Conference Final.
Our ladies battled hard in Victoria and controlled the run of play during the first half. Vancouver had their opportunities, but possession clearly favored the girls in Blue. That possession finally payed off just before additional time as Jocelyn Charette took a powerful kick from keeper Katie Hultin, beat a defender, and slammed the ball into the aggressive Whitecap keeper Siobhan Chamberlain. When Siobhan couldn't control the ball, Charette stepped over her and cleanly netted the ball high into the far corner from inside the 6. The halftime whistle blew shortly thereafter and our girls headed into the lockerroom in a good position.
Editor's Note: The Whitecaps Match Report describes their halftime deficit as a "shock" and our goal as a "comedy of errors." Though Vancouver had their chances in the first half, don't be fooled by the arrogance of our neighbors to the north; they were a step slow to the ball the majority of the half, looked uncharacteristically flat, and the lead was well earned by our Lady Sounders.
The final half, however, was a different story. Though Charette again beat the keeper and nearly reenacted her first-half goal less than five minutes into the second. The Whitecaps pressed hard for 35 minutes and controlled play for nearly the remainder of the game. Missing two key defenders, Kelli Smith and Jamie Coe, our relatively makeshift backline began to wear down. At right outside-back, Kelly Irving, typically a pressing midfielder, battled hard against the skilled Vancouver attack and thwarted several runs and combinations.
M'ily Reiter came on in the 60th minute and brought with her an offensive spark for our Sounders, but the experienced Vancouver attack found an equalizer in the form of a gorgeous corner in the 67th minute. A corner, mind you, earned shortly after a criminal dive, and let me reemphasize this, Whitecap Winger Melissa Tancredi made a fool of the head referee as she was a good three feet from Irving when she flopped to the ground just beyond the corner of the 18. The ensuing free kick was cleared over the touchline, resulting in a corner. That corner, taken by Chelsea Stewart, found an unmarked Emily Zurrer. The Canadian International and Vancouver Island native slammed it past Sounder netminder, Hultin, who had absolutely no chance at a save.
Our girls fought hard for the remainder of the half. Though we created a few chances, including several desperate attempts and combinations over the final 10 minutes, we simply could not find that breakthrough ball to finish off the Whitecaps and beat their English keeper.
In the end, the whistle tweeted three times and our 2010 campaign came to a close.
Great passion and fight ladies! Work hard this offseason, enjoy Surf Cup this weekend, and let's TAKE 'EM ALL IN 2011!!!
The Blue Heat pulled through for the Sounders Thursday night! Santa Clarita jumped ahead shortly after the break, but the Rush quickly responded in the 63rd minute, but could not find another to clinch the final playoff spot. Leaving the conference championship contender to be determined on the final day of Western Conference league play.
The scenario: Sounders win at Victoria over the Whitecaps, and anything but a Rush win at Pali Saturday night, see the Sounders Women through.
If the Sounders lose and Pali wins, and I think Pali is through
The Rush are the only team with their future in their own hands; win and they are through.
The gametime in Victoria this Saturday has been changed to 4:30PM in order to accommodate ferry schedules and those travelling from the mainland. Take note, if you're heading to the match. There should be a few Aux and Bellingham Border Boys in attendance.
Also, the second of the three vital Colorado Rush games takes place tonight at Santa Clarita, 7pm kickoff. In review, the Rush need to tie or lose tonight and Saturday for our ladies to have a shot at the second place position on the table and earn a spot in the Western Conference Championship game. I will relay the result as soon as they are made public. GO BLUE HEAT!
***thank you Media Canada for the picture of the Spirit of BC***
The Colorado Force beat the Colorado Rush 1:0 last night in good ol'fashioned Derby style to keep our playoff hopes alive!
Thursday night, the Rush, who are tied with the Sounders at 11 pts in league play but have a game in hand, head to Southern California to take on the Santa Clarita Blue Heat. A Heat win or tie keeps us alive in the race for the second spot in the Western Conference Championship game.
Three teams remain in the playoff hunt. Our Sounders, the Colorado Rush, and the Pali Blues.
Pali has the hardest road; with one game remaining, they must win and hope that both the Sounders & Rush lose out.
The Rush have the easiest route with three games remaining; win and they are in. Even three consecutive draws eliminates Pali and Seattle.
Seattle is also in a must-win situation. A tough road-win against the table-topping Whitecaps gives us hope, but does not guarantee a spot in the Western Conference Championship. The winner of that Championship moves on to the W-League Final Four in Santa Clarita at the end of the month.
With a win in Victoria Saturday, everything hinges on what the Colorado Rush do this week:
Tonight, the Rush travel to the Colorado Force. A Force win gives us a lot of hope as later in the week the Rush travel to Santa Clarita and finish up with a Saturday night matchup at Pali, two of the weaker sides in the W-League who also have the ability to shock the world when need be.
Mid-week road wins are hard to come by in the W-League, especially with work-conflicts and family issues preventing players from travelling. This will be a very interesting week indeed. It is strange finding a Sounder rooting for the Colorado Force, Pali Blues, and Santa Clarita Blue Heat all in one week.
1: Santa Clarita kicks things off on a beautiful night here at Starfire. Relieved to see that there are no Blue Heat ball girls...
41: After a forty minute barrage. Schmitty finds Redwine on a well earned cross from the touch line in the 41st min. Sounders 1:0 Blue Heat
45+: Halftime whistle sounds, our ladies are in complete control. Sounders 1:0 Blue Heat
58: GOOOOAAALLL!!! Sounders net a second on a gorgeous no-look header by Jocelyn Charette! With that, the Heat change keepers. Sounders 2:0 Blue Heat
80: Santa Clarita's #14 nets a cheeky chip to the far post from just inside the 18 & with that we've got a ballgame. Sounders 2:1 Blue Heat
90+: SOUNDERS WIN! It's final at Starfire, Sounders 2:1 Blue Heat. Some extracurricular post-game activities are highlighted by some strong words from the Santa Clarita side, Tarawra put the RAWR in that conversation. The potential bench-clearing scuffle was nulled by hundreds of youth soccer players rushing the field. An obviously unhappy Santa Clarita Coach even threw the Gatorade bucket in disgust.
Come on down to Starfire tonight & watch the Sounders cool off the Blue Heat of Santa Clarita.
Tonight's match against the bottom of the W-League Western Conference barrel is an important one for our ladies. A loss would see the Blue Heat leap frog us off the bottom of the table, whereas a win would put our Sounders in prime position to finish up the season in second place behind the Vancouver. The undefeated Whitecaps secured their league crown this week with a 2:0 win over our guests from Santa Clarita.
The visiting Blue Heat have had a rough go in this, their inaugural season; Santa Clarita's 5 losses are the most in W-League play. However, they managed to squeak out victories against both the Pali Blues and Colorado Force to shakeup league play in the month of July. A win over the Sounders would give them 10 points and a chance to finish in the top half of the bracket.
The Sounders, in short, need this win. A win tonight will prime them for a chance to ruin the Whitecaps undefeated dream season next weekend in Victoria and finish off our season on a high note.