SoundersWomen.com - The Sounders must feel like they got punched in the stomach Sunday afternoon after the collection of events that ended with a 3-2 loss at home. The Sounders had not one, but two penalty kicks awarded against them. The home side also had their head coach and assistant coach ejected from the stadium by the game's official, Erik Martes. To make matters worse, an enthusiastic crowd watched a late goal turn a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 defeat.
At essentially the beginning of the match ('4min), the Rush, from Colorado, were standing at the penalty spot for a PK shot. Moments before, defender Jordan Salisbury collided with a Rush attacker and the whistle blew for the PK. The shot was converted by Danielle Foxhoven and the Rush took an early lead.
The goal seemed to spark the Sounders into action as they began to create good goal scoring chances. Eventually, the strong play yielded a 26th minute goal from Justina MacDowell on a long crossing ball that made it's way to the back post without help from a finisher. The match went to halftime even at a goal a piece.
In the 2nd half, things would shift again when Sounders Head Coach, Leighton O'Brien was thrown out of the stadium after arguing a foul. It seemed like an excessive action from the referee but O'Brien was forced to depart the sideline and leave the coaching reigns to Assitant, Todd Stauber.
In another strong response, the Sounder created a free kick from 40 yards out. Tiana Brockway sent in a pass near the PK spot. The lofted ball became a race between Erin Redwine's head and the punching fists of Rush goalkeeper, Krissy Tribbett. The Sounders veteran won the race and flicked the ball into the back of the net. Seattle led 2-1 in the 69th minute.
Then came another punch to the gut; the ball reached the Sounders defensive third and squirted free toward the corner flag. As the ball rolled away, Mary Hill (Sounders defender), and a Rush attacker raced towards the ball. As Hill was changing direction to chase the free ball, the Rush player collided with her and both fell down. The official deemed it to be a foul, rather than a fair collision and the Sounders were forced to wonder if it would be their day. Foxhoven converted her 2nd Penalty Kick of the day as she sent it off of Liz Ruiz's finger tips and into the goal.
Mid way through the 2nd half, the Sounders looked like they would run away with their first win of the season. Instead, the match turned on it's head and was completely overturned in the 83rd minute by U-17 National teamer, Lindsay Horan, who headed home a free kick to put the Rush up 3-2.
As the Sounders pushed for a late equalizer, their assistant coach, Todd Stauber, was also ejected from the match for dissent. Stauber was arguing that a Seattle player's collision in the attacking penalty area should also have earned a PK. The contact was ignored, but Stauber's argument was not.
The Sounders Women go on the road next week for 3 matches in California before returning to Seattle on June 12 against the LA Strikers. Tickets are available on SoundersWomen.com
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