The Sounders U-23 (1-0-1, 4 pts.) defeated the visiting Lane United (0-3-1, 1 pt.) 1-0 Friday night at Bonney Lake High School, earning their first victory of the 2015 PDL season and three points. A penalty kick goal by veteran, Joey Gjertsen, late in the second half sealed the victory for the men in green.
The Sounders U-23 offense went right to work and produced their first quality look at goal in the 9th minute. Midfielder, Florian Valot, picked up a loose ball up the right side of the pitch about 40-yards from goal. With his right foot, he sent a bending through ball around the back line of the Lane United defenders. Bursting through to meet the ball was Sounders forward, Guillermo Delgado. Delgado was through with only the goal and the keeper in front of him, but he took his shot right at the Lane United keeper, and the match continued scoreless.
Having weathered the Sounders U-23 storm for most of the first half, the Lane United attackers produced a good chance to beat Doug Herrick in the 42nd minute. After a bad giveaway by the Sounders U-23 defenders, Lane United were on the attack, moving quickly toward the box. The ball found Reds midfielder, Alex Pantoja, at the top of the box and with his first touch he sent a laser beam at the Sounders U-23 goal. Herrick got a finger tip to it, but lucky for him it was going over anyway to keep the score knotted at 0-0.
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The Sounders U-23 had another golden chance to put a goal on the board in the 58th minute. As the Lane United defenders tried to play the ball out of the back, the ball was mistakenly played directly into Delgado’s path behind the last line of defense. Delgado took his shot as the Lane United keeper raced off his line to cut down the angles, but it sailed well over the bar and out for a goal kick.
Then in the 77th minute, the Sounders U-23 finally broke through for what would eventually become the game’s deciding goal. The Lane United defense played the ball back to their keeper near the mouth of the goal in hopes to clear from danger, but Delgado raced in to intercept the pass. He touched the ball past the Reds keeper and then was taken down by the keeper’s outstretched glove. The referee pointed to the spot and then showed Lane United keeper, Matt Bersano a red card. Gjertsen calmly stepped up and hit a low shot toward the left side netting. The substitute keeper was able to get a piece of it, but the shot found the side netting for the 1-0 lead.
With the one goal lead and an extra man advantage, the Sounders U-23 were able to avoid giving up an equalizer, and went on the win the match 1-0.
The Sounders U-23 turn around for another home match next Friday, June 5th at Sunset Stadium in Sumner, Wash. There they will host the Puget Sound Gunners with another 7:30 p.m. PST kickoff. For tickets, visit SoundersU23.com