August 3, 2011

Flash and magicJack Post Victories

magicJack 3, Sky Blue FC 2

MagicJack took over sole possession of third place by defeating Sky Blue 3-2 tonight in Boca Raton. Abby Wambach scored twice and Megan Rapinoe got the game winner for magicJack.

Wambach opened the scoring in the 5th minute, assisted by Marian Dalmy. The hosts went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.

The floodgates opened in the second half, as both teams scored twice. Eni Aluko scored her second goal of the season, assisted by Heather O'Reilly in the 56th minute to tie the match for Sky Blue.

Wambach again gave magicJack the lead in the 77th minute, with the assist this time coming from Canadian National Team midfielder Sophie Schmidt. It was Wambach's 7th goal of the season.

Once again, Aluko was able to draw Sky Blue even as she scored in the 84th minute to tie the match at two, with Adriana assisting.

But midseason acquisition Megan Rapinoe scored the game winner in the 86th minute on an assist from Matilda's star Lisa De Vanna.

Jill Loyden got the victory in goal for magicJack, while Karen Bardsley took the loss for Sky Blue.

MagicJack improves to 7-6-2, good for 22 points after their point deduction suffered earlier in the campaign. They need just one more point to secure a playoff position. They will face the Breakers in Boston on Saturday evening.

Sky Blue falls to 5-7-4 and 19 points to their credit. They are still clinging to the fourth and final playoff berth, just three points ahead of Boston. Sky Blue travels to Philadelphia to play the Independence on Sunday, before facing the Breakers in their final regular season match in what could be a do or die game.

Western New York Flash 2, Boston Breakers 1

The Flash were able to pull even with league leading Philadelphia on Wednesday night, by defeating the Boston Breakers 2-1 at Sahlen Stadium. Christine Sinclair and Becky Edwards were able to net first half goals and then the Flash were able to withstand a Boston comeback to hold on for the victory.

Sinclair scored the game's first goal on an assist from Marta in the 21st minute. The tally pushes Sinclair's league-leading total to 10 goals.

The Flash made it 2-0 just seven minutes later. Becky Edwards headed in an Ali Riley cross and Western New York appeared to be on their way to victory.

Boston had other ideas, however, as they cut the lead in half in the opening minutes of the second half. Rookie Keelin Winters scored her third goal of the season, assisted by Kelley O'Hara to put the Breakers right back in the match.

Kelly Smith nearly tied the match in the 54th minute, but her shot from 30 yards hit the crossbar with Flash keeper Ashlyn Harris barely getting her hand on it. From then on, Western New York was able to hold on to capture three points.

The match saw two key Breakers players return to action. The aforementioned Smith came on at halftime, seeing her first action since the World Cup quarterfinals in Germany. Lauren Cheney made her first start since her ankle injury in the World Cup final for the United States.

Western New York is now in prime position to win the WPS regular season crown. They are tied with Philadelphia at 33 points and have a game in hand. They will face cellar dwelling Atlanta on Saturday at KSU Stadium.

Boston's situation is desperate at 4-8-4, but they do still control their own destiny. They will face magicJack in Cambridge on Saturday, before finishing the season at home against Sky Blue FC.

(1) Western New York 10-2-3, 33 pts; (1) Philadelphia 10-3-3, 33 pts; (3) magicJack 7-6-2, 22 pts; (4) Sky Blue FC 5-7-4, 19 pts; (5) Boston 4-8-4, 16 pts; (6) Atlanta 1-11-4, 7 pts.