Force snags tie on late goal - Coloradoan


VANCOUVER, B.C. - Midfielder Monica Dolinsky scored on a blistering 30-yard free kick in the 75th minute to help the Colorado Force pull out a 1-1 draw on the road against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The tie, the second 1-1 result for the Force in less than 48 hours, continued the team's unbeaten streak at seven consecutive matches. The Force had tied Seattle 1-1 on Friday night.

With a record of 1-1-6, Colorado now has 9 points in the W-League's Western Conference, inching closer to the third-place Real Colorado Cougars, which sits at 3-4-2 and 11 points.

The match was scoreless at halftime, but there were a number of near misses. In the 16th minute Force midfielder Nikki Marshall hit the crossbar with a shot. Five minutes later Force forward Shay Powell blasted a side volley that forced Vancouver keeper Stephanie Panozzo to make a finger-tip save. Then in the 45th minute Force keeper Maria Del Guercio made a save on a low, hard-driven shot by Vancouver forward Jodi Ann Robinson. It looked as though Emmalie Pfankuch was going to score when she caught the keeper out of the net but Panozzo made a fantastic save.

In the second half Vancouver was awarded a penalty kick in the 56th minute; the Force disputed the call, arguing that the foul was outside the penalty area. But the penalty kick failed when Vancouver's Amy Vermeulen hit the post. The Whitecaps received another penalty kick four minutes later, but this time they didn't miss. Robinson put the ball past Del Guercio to put the home side up 1-0.

The Force was awarded a free kick in the 75th minute after a hand ball was called on Vancouver. Dolinsky made the Whitecaps pay by rifling the shot into the upper corner of the net.

The tie keeps Colorado ahead of Vancouver in the standings. The Whitecaps are now 1-2-5, with eight points.

Sunday's match ends a grueling stretch, in which the Force played four matches in eight days, including an exhibition on Wednesday night against the N.J./N.Y. Sky Blue FC of the Women's Professional Soccer league. The team is now off for nearly two weeks before kicking of a three-game road swing in Southern California on Friday, July 10, against defending champion Pali Blues. The same trip includes games at the Ventura County Fusion on July 12 and the L.A. Legends on July 14.