2003 Jul 14

Match report from the King County Journal, printed edition:

By Mark Moschetti, Journal Reporter

A silver ring on Saturday. A golden goal on Sunday.

Call it one heck of a weekend for Darren Sawatzky.

Barely 24 hours after tying the knot with his girlfriend Kelly at a park in nearby Des Moines, Sawatzky untied one in Seahawks Stadium. The Seattle Sounders forward ran onto the rebound of a shot by Marco Velez and slammed it to the inside of the left post at 100:47, boosting his team to a 1-0 A-League victory over the short-handed El Paso Patriots in front of 2,112 fans.

"If the balls are going to start going in for the forwards, now is the time," said Sawatzky. "This year has been like that in a lot of ways - Kyle (Smith) and Marco have worked hard, but it's not going in for them."

They're certainly going in for Sawatzky. Sunday's goal, just 47 seconds into the second and final 10-minute sudden-death overtime, was his fourth in three games. He tallied twice in Wednesday's 6-0 rout of Calgary and got the only score in Friday's 1-0 victory over Milwaukee.

The win capped a successful back-at-home week for the Sounders after a month on the road. At 11-3-4 with 37 points, they remain seven points ahead of Portland atop the Pacific Division.

But Sunday's win - the 100th at home since the franchise was reborn in 1994 - was the most difficult of their three in the past five days.

El Paso (7-9-2) played a man down for the final 76 minutes after midfielder Pablo Cabrera was sent off with his second yellow card.

Seattle kept most of the play in the Patriots' end, piling up a 24-3 advantage in shots and a 13-1 lead in corner kicks.

Sounders Women close in on postseason

Last year, Seattle's trip to the W-League playoffs was derailed by Denver. Sunday afternoon, the Sounders took a big step toward making sure that doesn't happen again.

Defender Shannon Forslund scored a first-half goal, then newcomer Tina Frimpong and team leading scorer Janelle Munnis added insurance tallies during the second half as the Sounders Women blitzed the Lady Cougars in Seahawks Stadium, 3-0.

Denver (4-4-2, 14 points), which went to the league semifinals in 2002 after eliminating Seattle in the final game of the Western Division round-robin, could have jumped into second place with a win. Instead, the Sounders boosted their record to 6-3-1 with 19 points and need only a win or a tie in their final two games to wrap up the second and final berth behind division champion Vancouver.

Forslund put Seattle on the board in the fifth minute, set up by Melissa Bennett's free kick. Then at 66:27, Bennett's corner kick from the right side rainbowed down to Frimpong, who plays for the University of Washington and joined the Sounders just last week. Frimpong headed it hard into the center of the net.

Munnis made it 3-0 at 83:36, one-timing a pass into the box from Haley McNallen into the back right corner. Munnis has six goals for the season, one more than teammate Nikki Gamble.

Sounders 1, El Paso 0

Goals - Sea: Darren Sawatzky, unassisted, 100:47. Shots -- EP 3, Sea 24. Saves -- EP (Scott Alexander) 9, Sea (Preston Burpo) 0. Corner kicks -- EP 1, Sea 13. Offsides -- EP 1, Sea 2. Fouls -- EP 18, Sea 18. Attendance -- 2,112.

Sounders Women 3, Denver 0

Goals - Sea: Shannon Forslund, from Melissa Bennett, 5:00; Tina Frimpong, from Bennett, 66:27; Janelle Munnis, from Haley McNallen, 83:36. Shots -- Den 4, Sea 14. Saves -- Den (Janet Wildemuth) 5, Sea (Meghan Miller) 3. Corner kicks -- Den 4, Sea 8. Offsides -- Den 1, Sea 6. Fouls -- Den 14, Sea 8. Attendance -- 434.