August 4, 2010

Breakers and Freedom Post 2-0 Victories

Breakers Make It Six of Seven on Smith's Brace

Kelly Smith scored twice and Alyssa Naeher got her first WPS shutout to lead the Boston Breakers to a 2-0 win over the Atlanta Beat at Harvard Stadium.

Smith's first goal came just 40 seconds into the match, assisted by Lindsay Tarpley. She followed that up with a 2nd half goal to clinch it for the Breakers. They were the 8th and 9th goals of the season for Smith.

Boston has now won six of their last seven matches. At 7-6-4, the Breakers are over .500 for the first time since the first match of the season. The victory moves them to within two points of 2nd place Philadelphia. Atlanta fell to 4-8-5 and are in 7th place. However, they are still only three points out of 4th place.

Boston travels to Philadelphia for a 2nd place showdown with the Independence on Sunday. Atlanta returns home to host Sky Blue in a game that both teams desperately need to stay in playoff contention.

Wambach's Double Header Leads Freedom to First Victory in Two Months

Abby Wambach's two headers sparked the Washington Freedom to a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Independence. They were her 8th and 9th goals of the season. Ashlyn Harris claimed her first WPS shutout for the Freedom.

Earlier in the contest, Independence keeper Val Henderson had stopped Wambach's penalty kick. The game was delayed nearly an hour at the 31 minute mark because of lightning.

Both goals came off of set pieces. Wambach's first goal came off of a Sonia Bompastor corner kick in the 39th minute. The second came off of a Cat Whitehill free kick in the 41st minute.

It was Washington's first win since defeating Philadelphia on May 30. They improved to 5-8-5 for 20 points and tie for 4th place with the Chicago Red Stars. The Freedom return to action next Wednesday at Sky Blue.

Philadlephia fell to 8-6-3, still at 27 points and holding on to 2nd place. They will battle third place Boston this weekend in West Chester.

Gold Pride Clinches Playoff Spot???

If my calculations are correct, I believe FC Gold Pride has clinched a playoff spot. This is not official from the league, but I cannot come up with a scenario where four other teams can all reach 38 points.