September 11, 2010

Gold Pride Mauls Independence 4-1

Gold Pride finished off their regular season on a 13-game unbeaten streak, easily defeating Philadelphia 4-1 on Saturday evening. Leading the way for Gold Pride was Kelley O'Hara with two goals plus an assist and Marta with a goal and three assists.

The game was scoreless for nearly 40 minutes, but Gold Pride put together back-to-back goals by O'Hara and Marta before the end of the half to put FCGP up by two at the intermission. O'Hara received a pass from Marta to the far left side and chipped it over Val Henderson just inside the post from an extremely bad angle.

O'Hara returned the favor just a minute later, sending a perfect through ball to Marta who touched the ball around Henderson and finished from the right side of the box. It was Marta's 19th goal of the season.

In the 50th minute, Gold Pride made it 3-0 as Marta took a free kick from just outside the box on the right side. Her placement was perfect and O'Hara headed it home.

Philadelphia showed some life, however, as Lianne Sanderson scored on an excellent ball over the top from Lori Lindsey. That cut the lead to 3-1.

Gold Pride put the game out of reach in the 64th minute. Marta beat two defenders and ran onto the ball on the left wing and sent a ball back across the box. Christine Sinclair cut across and finished inside the left post to make it 4-1. It was Sinclair's 10th goal of the season, making her only the fifth WPS player to reach that plateau.

While Gold Pride was playing without Camille Abily, the Independence were missing several starters including Frida Magnusdottir, Caroline Seger, Karina LeBlanc, and Sara Larsson.

Philadelphia finishes in 3rd place and will host Washington in the first round of the playoffs on Sunday, September 19, tentatively scheduled at 2:30 eastern time. Gold Pride pushed their record to 16-3-5 and will host the final on Sunday, September 26.