August 12, 2010

Philadelphia Moves Closer to a Playoff Spot

Philadelphia Independence 2, Chicago Red Stars 1

The Philadelphia Independence moved closer to clinching a playoff spot with a 2-1 road victory at Toyota Park. A Lianne Sanderson free kick from 22 yards slipped past Jill Loyden into the lower right corner of the net in the 78th minute to give the Independence the victory.

After a scoreless first half, Amy Rodriguez gave the Independence the lead in the 53rd minute, but Ella Masar answered 10 minutes later, heading in a cross by Casey Nogueira. Karina LeBlanc gained the victory in goal.

The game saw four different Red Stars earning yellow cards...Formiga, Megan Rapinoe, Natalie Spilger, and Katie Chapman. Chicago outshot Philadelphia by a 9 to 5 margin.

Both Julianne Sitch and Kate Markgraf had to leave the game because of injuries. The seriousness of those injuries is not known at this time.

Philadelphia moved to 31 points in 2nd place, five points clear of 3rd place Boston. They will entertain the Atlanta Beat at John A. Ferrell Stadium on Sunday. A victory over Atlanta combined with a Washington Freedom loss at Gold Pride would put Philadelphia in the playoffs.

Chicago remains at 21 points and now tied for 5th place with the Washington Freedom. They return to action next Thursday against the Freedom on the road.

Sky Blue FC 1, Washington Freedom 1

Late pressure and a Freedom own goal enabled Sky Blue to tie Washington 1-1 in a match played at Yurcak Field. The tie moved the New Jersey side into sole possession of 4th place. Washington remains a point behind Sky Blue.

The Freedom opened the scoring in the 65th minute on a goal by Sonia Bompastor. However, a Sky Blue offensive opportunity turned into an own goal when Freedom defender Cat Whitehill misdirected a ball past keeper Ashlyn Harris to tie the match. Sky Blue continued to pressure the Freedom, but were unable to break the tie in the closing minutes. Sky Blue outshot Washington by 13-7.

Washington travels to the opposite coast to take on league leading Gold Pride on Saturday. Sky Blue will play the Breakers at Harvard Stadium on Sunday.

1) FC Gold Pride (12-3-3, 39 pts); 2) Philadelphia (9-6-4, 31 pts); 3) Boston (7-6-5, 26 pts); 4) Sky Blue FC (6-8-4, 22 pts); 5) Washington (5-8-6, 21 pts); 5) Chicago (5-9-6, 21 pts); 7) Atlanta (4-9-5, 17 pts).