Seattle Sounders Women 0–2 Bay Area Breeze
The Sounders Women (7-3-2) fell 2-0 to the Bay Area Breeze (4-6-2) in the final match of the W-League season. Based on other results in the final day of regular season play, the Sounders needed a tie to advance to the Western Conference Championship, but conceded a penalty in the first half and were never able to convert a goal to earn the necessary points.
Despite occupying the top spot in the Western Conference for nearly the entire year, the Sounders finished third in the Western Conference, missing a top-two spot (and playoff qualification) by one point.
The Sounders started well on Sunday evening at historic Kezar Stadium, in the heart of San Francisco. The Sounders generated seven corners and forced saves from Yianna Dimmit and her defenders in the first half. However, it was the Bay Area Breeze who scored on a penalty kick in the 16th minute. Najma Homidi was tackled in the penalty area and Leah Morales converted the penalty.
The Sounders nearly scored at the end of the first half, as they’ve done so many times this season. Tafara Pulse had two half-volleys from the edge of the penalty box. The first was glanced over the bar by a defender’s head. The second attempt was saved by Dimmit, who recollected a small bobble before Rachel Mercik could put in the rebound.
The Sounders brought on U-20 USA National Teamer, Isabel Farrell and U-20 Mexico National Teamer Sophia Huerta at halftime and each looked dangerous, but Seattle couldn’t find the final pass necessary to turn chances into goals.
As the Sounders pushed forward for a goal they desperately needed, the Breeze countered to put the game out of reach. Gina Woodward beat the Sounders offside trap and was clear to cross to a streaking Brandi Vega to tap it home in the 72nd minute.
The Sounders pushed extra players forward in the dying moments but had headers, shots, and deflections go wide of the net.
With the loss, the Sounders finish a season with 23 points, one behind the Los Angeles Strikers, who Seattle defeated twice this year, and three points behind the Pali Blues. The Blues will host the Strikers on Sunday, July 21 for the Western Conference Championship. The winner will represent the Western Conference in the W-League National Final Four.