It was an up and down weekend for the Force women as they had two games back to back. They started at home on Saturday against Washington Timbers, a team they played on the road a couple weeks ago to a 0-0 draw. Things didn't go so well this time around as the women found themselves down 1-0 after only 8 minutes of play. This was only the beginning as the Timbers would put 5 goals in the Force net, doubling the total they had given up in their first 7 games total. The only real positives on the day were that they were able to be a little more threatening on the attack, albeit at the cost of the defense, and injured center back K-Lee Haynes played her first 15 minutes of the season. Haynes, after playing every minute of every game last season has been out since October from an ACL injury. She played 15 minutes in the second half at right back.
At the end of the day, it was disappointing for the women, who had made great strides in their play over the previous weeks and earning their first win of the season the previous weekend away at Fuerza. With little time to rest, they would travel to Wenatchee on Sunday to take on NCW Alliance.
The day was going to be a battle from the start. Two of the players expected to make the trip were unable which left the Force with a roster of only 13 players. That combined with some incredible traffic difficulties, turned the normally 3.5 to 4 hour drive into a full five hours. The Force ladies stepped off the bus into 99 degree heat, 27 minutes to kickoff!
The ladies went to work. They prepared and stepped onto the field. The first few minutes were a little anxious until they got their feet under them and then they started to play the way they had all season. You could tell from 10 minutes into the game that it was going to be hard for Alliance to score a goal. The defense was tired, and sore, but as solid as they could be and they were helped in the midfield by the work of Yasmin Escobar (Jazzy). Jazzy had channeled her inner Liz Oba and was everywhere. She was back on defense, forward on the attack, playing wide down the wing, winning tackles and getting crosses in and even taking a couple of shots. She was your Cervesa Modelo Woman of the Match with that performance.
In the 36th minute the Force were rewarded for their hard work with a free kick just inside midfield. CB Abby Olson played a lofted ball into the box that MacKenzie Palau rushed in for as the Alliance keeper came out. The keeper got their first but couldn't hang on and put the ball into Palau's knee. With the momentum the two clashed together and the ball ended up squirting to the side into the stride of Desiree Doty who followed the play in. She calmly placed the ball into the net for the 1-0 lead.
At halftime, the temperature finally reached 100 but the heat wasn't keeping the Force an their 2 subs down. Coach Jarrett used his subs at just the right times to keep his players going on the field. There were more than a few opportunities for the Force to extend their lead in the second half but with the one goal and the defense completely shutting the Alliance offense down, they had all they would need to get the win.
The ladies have now played all but one of their regular season games and they still have a chance to make the playoffs. This weekend they will have an eye on the rest of the teams as the ladies have a weekend off before playing their final regular season game on the 9th. Whether the Force Women make the playoffs or not, one thing is for sure, they have already shown great improvement. They have 3 more points right now than they did in 3 more games last season. They have decreased their goals against average by over 2 whole goals and with 4 shutouts on the season, Ricci Weidbrecht is the front runner in the league with the most shutouts. They may not challenge for the trophy this year, but they have played everyone hard and have made great strides in doing so.
You can catch the final game of the regular season as a part of the Tracyton Soccer Club Benefit Weekend. The game will kick off at 2pm at Gordon Field at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds on July 9th against NCW Alliance. You can get your game tickets by CLICKING HERE. You can get more information about the Force Development Program Summer Camp for that weekend by CLICKING HERE. See more pictures from the game below, courtesy of Trinity McMonagle.