In the final match of their inaugural USL League 2 season, the Lane United FC Women’s Team fell to first-placed Oly Town FC by a score of 4-0 at South Sound Stadium in Lacey, WA.
As Oly Town’s been doing all season long, they started the pressure early and often on the Reds.
Credit LUFC’s defense, however, as they seemed up for the task early. In particular, it was Laura Riesenbeck disrupting the Oly Town attack with tireless chase downs and deflections and goalkeeper Olivia Riddel with some big-time saves.
The ball still found itself on Oly Town’s side for much of the half, and they finally pushed through in the 17th minute. A corner kick that was headed down by an Oly Town attacker and deflected a few times dribbled right to Mariah Lee standing just yards in front of the net. Lee, who tallied a hat-trick in the first matchup between these two teams, capitalized to put Oly Town on the board, 1-0.
Both teams traded chances for the next 13 minutes, but the Reds could never seem to get the final ball to get them on the board. A possible penalty shout from the visitors when Tamerra Cervantes Carlos was dragged down from behind in the penalty area went unpunished by the referee.
In the 30th minute, Oly Town added a crushing second blow. Forward Alex Schoenstadt found herself alone in space and hit the LUFC defender with two backheel turns before threading a through ball to McKenna Martinez. Martinez dribbled around Riddel and tucked a shot perfectly into the vacated net to grow the lead to two.
While the Reds’ had chances in the first half, Oly Town’s defensive positioning also made it tough on them. The Artesians, who’ve allowed just five goals all season, knew exactly when to be active with their pressure and attacks. A second would-be penalty before the half went unheeded as Lilly Nowatzke was tripped from behind when she seemed to be through on goal.
At the whistle, the Reds’ had kept first-place Oly Town within arms reach down just two.
It wasn’t until the 66th minute that the Artesians really took over the game. A costly Reds’ mistake with some poor passes and touches out of the back led to a third Oly Town goal, and a second by Martinez. A handful of minutes later, and after Lane United had used all of their subs, defender Syndey Petersen was forced off with a hip injury, leaving the visitors to play with 10 women for the remainder of the match.
Just over 10 minutes later, Kelsey Kwon, a reserve player for Oly Town, made it 4-0 with a curling left shot from just outside the box.
Despite the impending shutout, LUFC never backed down in their final match. Riddel, who’d been active all night, never took her foot off the gas pedal even in the winding minutes. She sacrificed her body, collided with other players, and went all out to keep the Reds as close as possible, finishing the match with 8 saves.
In the end, however, Oly Town walked away with the win and clinched the Northwest Division title in their first USL W League season. The Reds’ came into the match in third, but can see themselves finishing anywhere from third to fifth depending on how other teams’ final game plays out.
The women wrap up their inaugural season with a record of 2-6-2, but the men still have three games to go in their USL League Two season. Follow along on our website, and come out to Civic Park to cheer them on for their final home game on Thursday, July 13th, versus PDX FC (7:00 pm).