The Olympic Force Women opened the NWPL season Saturday with a match away to Washington Premier FC. If you were a spectator, and only watched one half or the other, you would come away with no idea how this game ended.
In the first half, both teams had some good chances but it was WPFC that scored in the 15th minute to take the lead. The rest of the first half the Force ladies spent trying to gain a foothold on the possession. While they had quite a few attacks into the WPFC end, they were largely without a lot of sustained possession and ultimately resulted in very few quality chances.
Head Coach Jason Jarrett made some adjustments at halftime. In the second half, everything was different. The Force dominated possession. The runs that were made in the first half by Fry, Sanchez and Beisley seemed to take their toll on the WPFC defense. After the 60th minute, WPFC only made it into their attacking 3rd, 7 times. Haynes, who was moved out to left back at halftime, coupled with Haga and Kruzner in the middle and Nordquist on the right seemed to find the continuity they were missing in the first half and had things locked down pretty tight.
Meanwhile the midfielders started pulling the attacking strings and maintaining a little more possession. In the 58th minute, Sanchez was released into the box but had the ball just poked away. In the 63rd, 2 corners and another cross somehow all ended up not finding the net. In the 76th minute, Fry pulled a nice pull and spin on the WPFC center back but her shot was just pushed wide by the keeper. Finally in the 79th minute, a nice through ball from Kvinsland put Beisley into the box who calmly rolled the ball past the keeper and into the net to level things at 1-1. Five minutes later, Jess Haga, the Cervesa Modelo Woman of the Match and the NWPL Defensive Player of the Week, carried a ball straight through the middle of the field 50 yards before lacing what would have been the game winner just wide of the post. Four more good chances went just begging in the next 5 minutes. In the 90th minute, a ball was slotted through to space behind the Force defense. The WPFC forward was in, one-on-one with keeper Ricci Wiedbrecht. Ricci ended up doing just enough to force the attacker wide and the shot, although it beat Wiedbrecht, hit the right post and started on its slow journey across the face of the goal line....
It should have gone in. The spin was right, it would cross the line before it reached the other post. Wiedbrecht had no chance to reach it. She didn't have to. Jess Haga was still on the move. She had covered every inch of synthetic turf field already and like a tank in high gear she was flying. On a chase that started almost 40 yards away from her own goal, she raced into the box and cleared the ball just before it reached the goal line. Her momentum flung her into the goal like Nemo trapped in a fish net, but the ball had been cleared and the first point of the season were secure.
Goals: M. Beisley '79 Assists: J. Kvinsland '79.
Join the ladies and bring mom to Gordon Field this Saturday as the Women will take on last year's NWPL Runner-up, the Seattle Stars. Kick off is at 3pm and will be followed by the Men's game. Ticket links on the home page!!!
Pics from the game below.