Photo by Ron Hole

Whitecaps FC women play to 3-3 draw against LA Strikers

In their second match of a three-game road trip in California, Vancouver Whitecaps FC women played to a 3-3 draw against LA Strikers at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, on Friday night.

After a tough 2-1 loss against first-place Pali Blues on Wednesday, the ‘Caps looked to respond with a strong performance.

The match did not start in the visitors' favour, as the Strikers took the lead on 14 minutes through Christina Murillo.

Vancouver responded ten minutes later when Jenna Carosio sent in a free kick from 40 yards out that was headed down by Mary Kate MacLaughlin and shot into the back of the net by Jenna Richardson – who scored for the second straight match.

In full control, the ‘Caps took the lead in the first half when a nice passing play ended with Richardson crossing in to Jaclyn Sawicki. The Coquitlam, BC, native then finished the play to put her team up 2-1 at the break.

The second half saw the ‘Caps extend their lead when Sawicki returned the favour to Richardson, sending her in on a breakaway, as she slotted home her second goal of the night for a 3-1 lead.

It looked as if Whitecaps FC would secure an important victory, but a handball was called on Danielle Johnson in the 89th minute, allowing the Strikers to score on a penalty kick from Laura Stockdale and pull it back to 3-2.

Then, with only seconds remaining, the Strikers hit a 35-yard free kick to the back post, which was headed in by Caitlin Munoz for a dramatic 3-3 draw.

“It was a bit of mismanagement on our part, we gave up chances which we shouldn’t have,” said Jesse Symons, Whitecaps FC women’s head coach. “But overall, we played at a high level and stuck to our game plan.

“We’ll look to keep the energy high on Sunday. The team is in good spirits, so we’ll focus on ending the road trip with a positive result.”

Next up for the ‘Caps is the final match of their three-game road swing on Sunday against Santa Clarita Blue Heat at Valencia High School. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. PT.

Scoring Summary:
16' - LA - Christina Murillo
23' - VAN - Jenna Richardson (Jaclyn Sawicki)
38' - VAN - Jaclyn Sawicki (Jenna Richardson)
70' - VAN - Jenna Richardson (Jaclyn Sawicki)
90' - LA - Laura Stockdale (penalty)
90' - LA - Caitlin Munoz (Amy Chapman)

Match Stats:
Shots: Los Angeles 8 - Vancouver 9
Saves: Los Angeles 6 - Vancouver 5
Fouls: Los Angeles 5 - Vancouver 8
Corners: Los Angeles 4 - Vancouver 6
Offsides: Los Angeles 1 - Vancouver 6

LA Strikers
1.Nicoline Jorgeusen; 20.Wendy Warner, 9.Vanessa Valentine, 23.Rachel Flemming, 8.Autumn Altamirano; 19.Christina Murillo, 18.Dominique Richardson, 12.Hannah Beard, 2.Caitlin Munoz; 3.Amy Chapman

Substitutes not used: 7.Kelsey Gudgeon, 26.Ashley Cabrera

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
30.Gurveen Clair; 4.Danielle Johnson, 25.Jenna Carosio (28.Brittany Galindo 60'), 33.Shannon Woeller, 8.Demi Stokes; 18.Nicole Setterlund (23.Jenny Jeffers 45'), 16.Mary Kate McLaughlin (19.Molly Rouse 45'), 6.Jaclyn Sawicki (21.Paige Adams 80'); 22.Brandi Vega (15.Nikki Ambrose 60'), 24.Marissa Mykines (2.Taylor Patterson 60'), 3.Jenna Richardson

Substitutes not used: 29.Mele French