May 1, 2011

Flash, magicJack Remain Unbeaten

magicJack 2, Philadelphia Independence 1

magicJack took their second match in a row with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon.

Philadelphia struck first on a goal by Tina DiMartino in the 8th minute. magicJack was able to tie the match on a goal by Abby Wambach in the 25th minute.

Nicole Barnhart temporarily kept the match tied, saving a penalty kick by Wambach late in the first half.

Lisa De Vanna became the game's hero, scoring only a minute after she had come on as a second half substitution in the 75th minute.

Hope Solo made her first start since her shoulder surgery and got the victory in goal.

magicJack keeps their record unblemished at 2-0-0 and will host Atlanta next Sunday. Philadelphia returns home to play Boston, also on Sunday.

Western New York Flash 3, Atlanta Beat 0

It was different week for these two teams, as the Flash were able to come home an easy 3-0 victor over Atlanta.

Atlanta stayed close in the first half, much like a week ago, but just weren't able to generate much offense. Christine Sinclair opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, scoring on a rebound.

Sinclair secured her brace in the 59th minute, a goal set up by Marta. She was unable to get a hat trick, but her sub, Alex Morgan, did complete the scoring with a goal in the 73rd minute, with the assist credited to Kelly Parker.

The victory leaves Western New York atop the WPS table with 7 points, although they have played a game more than magicJack. They return to action next Friday at home against Sky Blue. Atlanta, who dropped to 1-2-1, travels to Florida to meet magicJack on Sunday.

Boston Breakers 1, Sky Blue FC 0

Boston was able to return to the win column, evening their record with a 1-0 win over Sky Blue FC at Cambridge on Sunday. Defender Rachel Buehler scored the game's only goal in 53rd minute.

Coach Tony DiCicco made a change in his lineup, moving Alex Scott, normally a right back for the Breakers, up to striker for the match.

The first half was a fairly evenly played affair, with perhaps the slightest of edges in passing and buildup to the orange-clad Sky Blue. Heather O'Reilly was especially active and dangerous throughout the half.

It was O'Reilly who nearly put SBFC up in the 30th minute. Eniola Aluko crossed from the right side and it was touched across by a sliding Allie Long to O'Reilly who was closing in on the left post. Alyssa Naeher made a nice save on O'Reilly's shot from the edge of the six yard box.

Boston took the initiative after the intermission. After yet another O'Reilly attempt on net was saved by Naeher as the half opened, Boston seemed to be in control of the match thereafter.

In the 52nd minute, Boston earned a free kick from about 30 yards out toward the right sideline. Kelly Smith hit a well-placed ball that came loose in the box, with a sliding Rachel Buehler sending it into the net from eight yards out.

Boston followed that with multiple chances throughout the second half. Lauren Cheney's shot from the 18 brushed the top of the post and over in the 58th minute.

Sky Blue's best chance in the 61st minute as Carrie Dew caught Naeher off her line a bit and very nearly headed the ball over the Breakers' keeper, with only a nice leap and tip sending the ball over the bar.

In the 67th minute, Boston appeared almost too unselfish as two passes in the box ended with Keelin Winters' shot going wide. Just a couple minutes later, Kelley O'Hara and Winters had a two-on-one break, but Jen Branam was able to slide across to grab Winters' effort on net.

The Breakers were unable to stretch their lead, but had a sizeable advantage in play in the second half. Kelly Smith did a nice job of controlling the flow of the match in the final 45 minutes.

While Boston played a solid second half, Sky Blue struggled. After SBFC's passing was sharp for much of the first half, they looked sloppy at times in the second half and the few chances they did generate were often snuffed out by offside calls. They looked to be lacking patience following Buehler's goal.

Boston levels their record at 2-2-0, while Sky Blue remains winless at 0-2-1. Sky Blue's scoreless streak has now gone to 234 minutes with their last goal coming in the first half of their season opener.

The Breakers travel to Philadelphia to meet the Independence next Sunday, while Sky Blue continues their road trip with a visit to Rochester to face Western New York on Friday evening.