June 8, 2010

WPS Weekend Wrap Up - June 5-6

FC Gold Pride 1, Washington Freedom 1

In a battle for 1st place, the Freedom tied Gold Pride by a 1-1 score. Allie Long got the Freedom on the board late in the 1st half with a well struck ball that beat Nicole Barnhart from 24 yards out. It was Long's second goal of the season.

Washington took its lead into the 2nd half and for awhile, it looked like they might hang on. A Kelley O'Hara bomb from distance knocked paint off the cross bar, but the scored stayed 1-0. Finally, after several near misses, Marta was able to find room among three defenders to beat Erin McLeod in the 76th minute to tie the score at one, which is how the match ended.

The match marked a return to the west coast for Shannon Boxx, who had been signed by Gold Pride as a free agent last week. Boxx spent the '09 season with Los Angeles. She wore number 77, instead of her traditional number 7, as O'Hara already wears that number for FCGP.

FC Gold Pride remains in 1st place with 16 points after its first tie of the season. Washington fell into a 2nd place tie with Philadelphia at 14 points.

Philadelphia Independence 2, Sky Blue FC 1

These two teams entered the game in a 3rd place tie, but it was the Independence who move up with the three points, winning by a 2-1 margin. All of the scoring came in the first half.

Lori Lindsey scored in the game's opening minutes, hitting a floater that was perfectly place in the upper right corner of the goal to beat Karen Bardsley. It was Lindsey's second goal of the season.

Laura Kalmari scored her 4th goal of the season, settling a nice through ball by Rosana, and tipping the ball past Philly keeper Val Henderson to tie the score only a few minutes later.

Later in the half, Amy Rodriguez and Lianne Sanderson worked a nice give and go that saw Rodriguez take the return pass and send it past Bardsley to give the Independence a 2-1 lead which they would never relinquish. Philadelphia moved into a 2nd place tie with the victory.

Chicago Red Stars 0, Atlanta Beat 0

In a battle between two former Athletica keepers, the Red Stars and the Beat played to a scoreless tie at Toyota Park. Jill Loyden of the Red Stars and Hope Solo of the Beat pitched the shutouts.

Chicago had the better of play for most of the match and had several promising chances in the final half. A Marian Dalmy cross just barely missed connecting with a sliding Katie Chapman. Later, a Karen Carney drive from 25 yards saw Solo make her best save of the match, diving to her left to parry the ball wide.

Atlanta's best chance came when Kia McNeill got clear for a header from close in, but wasn't quite able to get on top of it and the ball sailed just over the bar.

The game saw Atlanta start 7 former Saint Louis players, including five refugees they had signed in the past week from the recently disbanded team. Early on, the lack of familiarity showed. As one might expect with the little practice they had with each other, the Beat were not clicking for most of the match, although they did play a solid defensive match. Meanwhile, the Chicago Red Stars looked very good at times, but were unable to show any finishing prowess.

(1) FC Gold Pride 5-2-1, 16 pts (2) Philadelphia 4-2-2, 14 pts (2) Washington 4-2-2, 14 pts (4) Sky Blue FC 3-3-2, 11 pts (5) Chicago 2-4-2, 8 pts (6) Boston 1-2-4, 7 pts (7) Atlanta 0-5-2, 2 pts. Saint Louis, now disbanded, were 2-1-3 with 9 points. Boston and Atlanta have a match in hand.