April 3, 2010

Atlanta Downs Athletica 2-1 in Tulsa

The Atlanta Beat scored two first half goals and were then able to hold on for the victory in the final exhibition game of the spring. Swiss import Ramona Bachmann, had a hand in both goals, assisting on the first and scoring the second.

Atlanta had a definite edge in chances for the 1st half. The first goal came as a result of a corner kick, with Bachmann eventually getting the ball to former Athletica defender, Kia McNeill, who was able to finish to put the Beat on top. Later in the first half, Atlanta came down on a counterattack with Johanna Rasmussen crossing the ball from the left wing. In the ensuing scramble, Bachmann was able to touch the ball past Ashlyn Harris from about 2 yards out to give Atlanta a 2-0 lead. Bachmann came off with an injury after the goal, but walked off under her own power. The injury appeared to be minor, but she did not return.

Saint Louis got on the board late in the 1st half. The play started with Lori Chalupny reversing the ball from the right sideline. Eventually, Aya Miyama sent Shannon Boxx through alone and she finished lower right to cut Atlanta's lead to 2-1. There was no scoring in the 2nd half. Allison Whitworth earned the victory in goal for Atlanta. Several players were missing from both teams. For Saint Louis, Hope Solo, Daniela, and Niki Cross were not in Tulsa. Kristina Larsen was on crutches with a stress fracture in her foot. For Atlanta, Tobin Heath and Amanda Cinalli were not there, as well as Manya Makoski, who is out for the season with an injury.

Saint Louis did get some good news on the health front. Lori Chalupny played the first half after sitting out part of the spring, while suffering from symptoms related to concussions she had suffered previously. And Lindsay Tarpley saw her first action since tearing her ACL last August. Tarpley was a 2nd half substitution and played approximately 30 minutes.

Atlanta will travel to Philadelphia where they will play their season opener against the Independence on April 11. Meanwhile, Saint Louis hosts FC Gold Pride for their opener on April 11.