Vancouver Whitecaps FC women came from behind to record a 1-1 draw against Seattle Sounders women, Wednesday night at the Starfire Sports Complex Stadium in Tukwila, Washington in front of a crowd of 1,500.
18-year-old forward Jenna Richardson continued her remarkable scoring run for the 'Caps, with her fourth goal in as many matches, to earn a point for Vancouver.
With star defender Lexi Marton unable to make the trip to Seattle due to food poisoning, coach Hubert Busby Jr. moved team captain Kelsey Hood from midfield to centre back to fill in. Monica Lam-Feist then slotted into the middle of the park, alongside Tiffany Weimer and Tina Romagnuolo. For a second straight match, the "Fast Forward" trio of speedsters Jen Stoltenberg, Sydney Leroux, and Richardson got the start up front.
Seattle opened scoring on 37 minutes off a free kick. The ball was played in and flicked on by veteran Justi Baumgardt to Sophie Reiser, and she headed the Sounders into the lead. It was the first goal conceded this season by Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Jaclyn Dunnett, snapping her four-match shutout streak.
Vancouver came close late in the half, as Leroux had a clear run at goal and appeared to be taken down in the box. However, appeals for a penalty kick were turned down by match referee Ray Moffatte Jr.
Despite a six to four edge in shots in the first half, Vancouver went to the dressing room down 1-0 at the break.
During the second half, Whitecaps FC applied sustained pressure on Seattle, while limiting the Sounders to just one shot.
The pressure finally paid off with a quarter of an hour remaining. Leroux headed the ball on to Richardson at the top of the area, and she spun past her marker then rifled a powerful right-footed shot which left Seattle goalkeeper Elizabeth Ruiz with no chance to stop.
Though the 'Caps had opportunities to win it, the match finished even at 1-1.
Whitecaps FC out-shot their hosts nine to five on the night, which Busby felt was a fair measure of the game. "It was an evenly played match," he told whitecapsfc.com, "but as the stats showed, we had more of the run of play, and if we were better in front of goal, we would have left with three points."
The draw puts Vancouver's record at 7W-1L-3D, as the 'Caps lead Santa Clarita Blue Heat by two points in the W-League Western Conference standings. The Blue Heat have three games in hand, however, with a record of 7W-0L-1D. Seattle, meanwhile, go to 3W-5L-3D.
Whitecaps FC now return home for a Canada Day doubleheader at Richmond's Minoru Park. On Friday, July 1, at 4 p.m. PT, Whitecaps FC Residency host Victoria Highlanders FC in USL Premier Development League action, then at 7 p.m. PT, the women take the field, as Whitecaps FC and Victoria Highlanders FC meet in an all-British Columbia W-League derby clash. The game is part of the Whitecaps Women's Soccer Series presented by Kia - in partnership with the Girls Metro Soccer League - and is hosted by the Richmond Girls Soccer Association. Tickets for all home games are available online for just $12 at www.whitecapsfc.com/wtickets.
37' - SEA - Sophie Reiser (Justi Baumgardt)
75' - VAN - Jenna Richardson
Shots: Vancouver 9 - Seattle 5
Saves: Vancouver 0 - Seattle 2
Fouls: Vancouver 9 - Seattle 6
Corners: Vancouver 3 - Seattle 3
Offsides: Vancouver 2 - Seattle 0
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
35.Jaclyn Dunnett; 14.Keshia Wallin, 22.Kelsey Hood, 3.Shannon Woeller, 15.Krista Kruse; 7.Tina Romagnuolo, 8.Tiffany Weimer (6.Amy Vermeulen 89'), 18.Monica Lam-Feist (32.Nicole Setterlund 64'); 20.Jen Stoltenberg, 9.Sydney Leroux (17.Carrie Patterson 79'), 21.Jenna Richardson
Subs not used: 29.Kristen Funk, 10.Tseng Shu-O, 11.Alysha Bonnick, 24.Jaclyn Sawicki
Seattle Sounders women
0.Elizabeth Ruiz; 6.Elizabeth Drollinger, 5.Mary Hill (15.Tari Coffey 74'), 18.Nance Hill, 16.Jordan Salisbury; 7.Justi Baumgardt, 8.Jane Mitchell, 9.Tafara Pulse (22.Vanessa Gonzalez 52'); 2.Caroline Brawner (3.Megan Miller 64'), 11.Jocelyn Charette (19.Kara Kuttler 57'), 13.Sophie Reiser (4.Justina MacDowell 84')
Subs not used: 12.Mily Reiter, 17.Briann Oostinga