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Sounders U-23 5 - 0 N.S. SeaWolves (RECAP)

Sean Morris celebrates after scoring the first goal of the night (photo by Chris Coulter, SoundersPhotos.com)

Edmonds, Wa. – The Sounders U-23 defeated the North Sound SeaWolves FC Friday night 5-0 in an impressive performance. Goals by five different Sounders U-23s, paired with solid play at the back, helped earn the victory.

Much of the match was played in the SeaWolves defensive third as the Sounders U-23 dominated possession. SeaWolves goalkeeper, Claudio Lazar was the busiest man of the match, facing 10 shots from Sounders U-23 attackers.

“We’re pushing because at this time of year it’s time to start getting ready for the post season, we’re not there yet, but guys are fighting for minutes, and any time you have competition it breeds a good training environment,” Sounders U-23 Head Coach, Darren Sawatzky, said. “So whenever you have multiple guys scoring and playing well it gives opportunity for coaches to make hard decisions and that only helps teams.”

Not three minutes into the match a beautiful through ball from Fernando Monge found Jamael Cox on the right side of the box. With his first touch he sent a hard cross into the penalty area. Sean Morris beat his defender to head the ball into the goal for the early 1-0 lead.

As play continued in the 12th minute, a long through ball out of the back found Sean Okoli behind the SeaWolves defense. SeaWolves keeper, Claudio Lazar, raced out of the goal to meet Okoli, but he was able to touch the ball past Lazar into the box. Okoli raced to gather the ball on the end line and dropped a ball to an open Aodhan Quinn, but he miss timed his shot, which sailed over the bar for a goal kick.

Then in the 19th minute a long throw into the box was collected by Aodhan Quinn. He used his chest to carry to ball forward a couple of paces and past his marker. As the ball dropped toward the turf, he hit a left footed volley with pace on goal, but Lazar was there to knock the ball over the goal.

Another great chance went begging in the 24th minute for the Sounders U-23. Sean Okoli broke free behind the SeaWolves defense and had only the keeper to beat. He couldn’t get his shot lined up properly and put it right in the keeper’s chest.

Shortly after, the Sounders U-23 were threatening once again, with a corner kick. In one run of play the Sounders U-23 managed four shots on goal, but none found the net. The first hit the near post but settled down at the top of the box to Quinn. He hit his shot on goal first time with his left foot, which prompted an excellent save from Lazar. The ball fell to Okoli who was all alone in front of the goal, but both of his shot attempts were directly at Lazar.

The best chance of the game for the SeaWolves came in the 27th minute. A through ball into the penalty area found a streaking SeaWolves attacker who opted to play a short crisp ball across the goal. The ball was collected near the far post and played back toward the center, but that’s when the Sounders U-23 defense intercepted and cleared the ball from danger.

Finally after knocking on the door all half, a second goal came for the Sounders U-23 in the 33rd minute. Once again Sean Okoli had gotten behind the SeaWolves defense and had a clear run at the goal. He made sure to place his shot in the corner with power to beat Lazar and put the Sounders U-23 up 2-0.

The Sounders U-23 tried to give one back in the 39th minute. A miscommunication in the back led to a break away for SeaWolves Abduwali Aman. With only Doug Herrick to beat he hit his shot low aiming for the far post, but it stayed wide enough to miss the target.

HALFTIME 2-0

As the second half got under way the SeaWolves came out with some fight. A couple of attacking runs from Aman gave the Sounders U-23 defense some trouble, but in the 53rd minute, the Sounders U-23 put a third goal on the board. Quinn was fouled in the box after beating his man with a cheeky step over and the ref awarded the penalty. Quinn hit the shot with power with his left foot and found the right corner of the net.

Only a minute later, Quinn broke loose in the box again and tried to chip the surging SeaWolves keeper, but his attempt skipped just wide of the mark.

Doug Herrick was finally tested in the 71st minute. The ball was picked up by SeaWolves forward Aman who beat his man to get a strong shot at goal. Herrick was able to come up with the save diving to his left.

Later in the match the Sounders U-23 cleared their bench making six substitutions by the 80thth minute.

A great piece of play from Sounders U-23 substitute Darwin Jones put the Sounders U-23 up 4-0 in the 83rd minute. Anthony Arena cleared a long header from midfield that sailed all the way over the SeaWolves defense. Jones ran on and cut the ball back to beat his defender, then hit a thundering shot into the back of the net.

Just one minute of play later Troy Peterson battled just outside the box for possession of the ball, and was able to flip it to Esteban Potenciano. With a clear shot on goal he hit a powerful shot past Lazar to make it 5-0 Sounders U-23.

With the win the Sounders U-23 receive three points, putting their season total at 24. They will remain in fourth place in the PDL Northwest division standings after some Friday night results around the league.

The Kitsap Pumas defeated the Washington Crossfire FC 2-1 putting the Pumas back in first with 26 points. The Portland Timbers U-23s won their Friday night match against Fraser Valley pulling them in a tie for second place with the Crossfire; each team with 25 points.

“Every match in this league is a big match up,” Sawatzky said. We have a quick turnaround, and in this league you can go from the seventh spot to the first spot and the other way around quickly. So we have to quickly regroup and get ready for Sunday”

All three sides above the Sounders U-23 in the standings have one more match played, giving them more opportunity for points. The Sounders U-23 will face the Crossfire on Sunday evening at Redmond High School at 5:00 p.m. where they will have the chance to jump them and Portland in the standings with a win. Follow all of the action online at SoundersU23.com.


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