The Sounders FC U-23 defeated the North Sound SeaWolves after a dominant second half that yielded the only goal of the match. Blake Wise took a cross from Steve Mohn to put the go-ahead goal into the net in the 68th minute, and the SeaWolves were not able to draw level late in the contest.
The win marks three victories in a row for a Sounders U-23 side that had gotten off to a slow start early in the season. Next up is a Sunday afternoon showdown with rival club and current division leaders, Portland Timbers U-23, at Tumwater. For more information and to purchase tickets to the Timbers U-23 match, visit SoundersU23.com.Neither the U-23 nor SeaWolves had many chances in the first half of the match. For most of the half, the Sounders U-23 maintained control of the ball, and were able to win a majority of the contests in the middle of the pitch. Despite the Sounders' long spells of possession, the side was not able to create any real chances on goal before the break.
Just before the end of the first 45, the SeaWolves managed to put themselves into position for a handful of goal-scoring opportunities.
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In the 42nd minute, the SeaWolves earned a free kick from four yards beyond the top of the penalty area. Although the free kick was sent directly into the wall, the referee awarded a penalty kick for a hand ball.
Andres Suazo went to the penalty spot to face off against Sounders goalkeeper Zach Lubin, with a chance to take a 1-0 lead into half time. Suazo's shot bounced high off of the top left corner of the frame and the Sounders cleared the ball out of play, dodging a major bullet.
The SeaWolves regrouped after the failed penalty opportunity and on a resulting throw-in nearly took a 1-0 lead anyway. The throw-in came to SeaWolves forward Braxton Griffin, who flicked the ball up in front of goal where it took a high bounce off the turf and set up David Durrant for the shot. Durrant put it in the net with ease, but was immediately whistled for a foul after pushing off of the Sounders' defender to get to the ball in the box.
The Sounders narrowly escaped the first half without conceding a goal, even though they were firmly in control for the first 42 minutes of the match.
Early in the second half, it was clear that the Sounders were starting to find their momentum, and were getting multiple chances to take the ball up the pitch and put it in for scoring opportunities.
In the 51st minute Mark Lee settled the ball down at the top right corner of the penalty area. He hit a driving cross into the front of goal, where Aodhan Quinn met it with his head. Quinn's header angled quickly to the lower far corner of the goal, and required a diving save from SeaWolves keeper Ryan Herman to keep it out of the net.
The Sounders control of the match finally came to fruition in the 68th minute when Steve Mohn took the ball unmarked up the right-hand side of the pitch. Mohn crossed the ball over into the middle of the penalty box, where Wise shot it with his right foot past the diving keeper and into the lower left corner of the goal.
With the SeaWolves doing everything they could to create a tying chance, the Sounders were able to keep the ball away from them, and get more goal scoring opportunities for themselves. The Sounders took a total of 12 shots in the second half, and continued to eliminate any offense the SeaWolves could create with counter attacking play up the pitch. The Sounders U-23 were able to hang on to their narrow margin lead until the final whistle, taking the victory 1-0.