June 27, 2010

WPS Weekend Wrap - Philadlephia and Sky Blue Post Wins

Philadelphia 3, Washington 2

The Independence staged a dramatic come-from-behind victory to defeat the Washington Freedom 3-2 in West Chester. Lianne Sanderson scored the game winner in stoppage for the home team.

The Freedom built up an early 2-0 lead and looked to be on their way to a victory. Lene Mykjåland opened the scoring just 3 minutes in, as she scored on a rebound. Abby Wambach converted a penalty to put Washington ahead by two before the match was a quarter hour old.

Philadelphia pulled even in the 2nd half with two Amy Rodriguez goals, her fifth and sixth of the season, in a 10 minute span. That set the stage for Sanderson's heroics.

Rodriguez is now tied for the WPS lead in goal scoring with Marta. The Independence moved to within a point of league leading Gold Pride. They stand at 21 points with a 6-3-3 record. Washington's loss combined with Sky Blue's victory drops the Freedom into 4th place at 4-3-3.

Sky Blue FC 2, FC Gold Pride 0

Sky Blue handed Gold Pride their first home loss since last July with a 2-0 victory. New Jersey was coming off the worst loss in their history, a 4-1 loss to Philadelphia last weekend.

After a scoreless 1st half, Sky Blue struck in the 58th minute. Heather O'Reilly crossed the ball to the back post and Rosana was able to slide between defenders for a diving header which she placed past Nicole Barnhart. The goal came as Rosana was about to be subbed out in favor of Tasha Kai.

Gold Pride turned up the pressure, creating several chances to tie, but were unable to convert. A Tiffeny Milbrett drive from 20 yards hit the crossbar. Karen Bardsley tipped a Kelley O'Hara shot over the bar. Later, a Christine Sinclair goal was correctly disallowed on an offsides call.

Just when it seemed Gold Pride might pull even, Sky Blue struck on a counterattack. After the ball was cleared by the Sky Blue defense, Jessica Landström was able to get through two Gold Pride players in the midfield and then push a pass forward to Kai. Kai was able to get a shot off from 22 yards, just before an onrushing Ali Riley was able to cut her off and it beat Barnhart just inside the right post.

Karen Bardsley picked up her 5th shutout for Sky Blue this year. Gold Pride gave up two goals for the first time since the season opener.

The win moves Sky Blue into 3rd place with a 5-4-2 record and 17 points. Gold Pride maintains their hold on 1st place, but their lead is down to one point with a 7-3-1 record and 22 points.

(1) FC Gold Pride (7-3-1, 22 pts); (2) Philadelphia (6-3-3, 21 pts); (3) Sky Blue FC (5-4-2, 17 pts); (4) Washington (4-3-3, 15 pts); (5) Chicago (3-5-3, 12 pts); (6) Boston (1-5-4, 7 pts); (7) Atlanta (1-5-3, 6 pts).