[caption id="attachment_29461" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Sounders Women introduced to near-sellout crowd at Starfire Sports Stadium."] [/caption]The star-studded Sounders Women got their strongest test yet tonight – and passed.
After friendlies against three college teams and a W-League opener against an 0-3 Vancouver side, the Sounders Women faced the Colorado Rush, which came in unbeaten in three games, and unscored upon.
That changed at Starfire Sports Stadium, as the Sounders Women emerged with a 2-1 victory.
The Sounders -- featuring U.S. national team veterans Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Stephanie Cox, Sydney Leroux, and Megan Rapinoe in the starting lineup -- controlled the early minutes of the match. And so it was no surprise when they broke through in the 19th minute, as Megan Manthey scored, assisted by Leroux.
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The Rush responded after falling behind for the first time this season. About two minutes later Lindsey Horan beat Solo from about 20 yards, but the shot hit the crossbar. A few minutes before halftime, forward Danica Evans forced Solo into an acrobatic save, tipping a ball into the crossbar.
The Sounders (2-0) padded their lead in the 49th minute when Veronica Perez drilled a free kick from about 23 yards.
However, Colorado (3-1) struck back in the 61st minute when Brittany Bock sent a sizzling shot off the crossbar, and Lindsey Horan headed in the rebound past Solo, who was drawn to the far post by the initial shot.
Sounders Women return to action at 7 p.m. Friday at Victoria. Their next home game is 7:30 p.m. Monday against the Colorado Rapids Women.
61st minute: Brittany Bock sends a sizzling shot off the crossbar, and Lindsey Horan headed in the rebound past Solo, who was drawn to the far post by the initial shot.
49th minute: GOAL Sounders. Veronica Perez scores on a free kick from about 23 yards.
Second half: ... has just kicked off.
Halftime: Sounders Women up, 1-0. Colorado had its chances, though, with Hope Solo making a couple of saves -- one an acrobatic leaper, touching a shot by the Rush's (very impressive) Danica Evans onto the crossbar.
19th minute: GOAL Sounders Women. Megan Manthey scores, assisted by Sydney Leroux. Seattle, 1-0. The score seemed inevitable. Sounders have had the far better of play early.
Kickoff: We're under way. Sounders Women in rave/blue, Rush in white/white.
Pregame: Sounders Women make their W-League home debut at 7 tonight at Starfire Sports Stadium.
U.S. national team veterans Solo, Morgan, Cox, Rapinoe and LeRoux all starting for Sounders tonight.
The Sounders are 1-0, and tonight's opponent -- the Colorado Rush -- also is undefeated at 3-0.
I'll keep this post open for news and goal updates as the evening moves along.