For the first time since the folding of the St. Louis Ahletica, Women’s Professional Soccer went a week without any mid-week games, so only 3 were played on Week 20. The first match-up was not really a match up if you only look at the score. FC Gold Pride earned the biggest win of the year (and in both seasons of WPS) against the Atlanta Beat with a final score of 6-1. Ouch. It was also the Beat’s 2nd highest attendance this year (and highest number of the week). Too bad the 4,289 fans that showed up had to watch that. The next game was between the Washington Freedom and Sky Blue FC, in which the Freedom game their crowd the pleasure of witnessing a 3rd straight home win. Lastly, the Philadelphia Independence hosted the Boston Breakers in a game that ended 2-1 in favor of Boston.
Tiffeny Milbrett scored the first goal of the day in the 43rd minute when Shannon Boxx chipped the ball over the Beat defense. Milbrett’s shot went looping over Hope Solo, hit the bottom of the crossbar, and bounced into the goal. Camille Abily scored her first goal of the season in the beginning of the second half after Solo saved a shot from Marta. The ball fell to Abily’s feet, and all she did was shoot into the open net. In the 65th minute, the Beat scored their only goal after Angie Kerr sent a driven ball into the box and Eniola Aluko got a touch on it to make it 2-1. A minute later, Marta scored her first goal of the match on a powerful shot that beat Hope Solo. Then again, four minutes later, Marta made it 4-1 when Christine Sinclair played the ball across the top of the 18 for Marta to finish. Just a minute later, Kelley O’Hara added a goal of her own making it 5-1. Sinclair finished it off with a left corner shot past Solo in the 87th minute.
The Washington Freedom are currently in 4th place, good enough to make the playoffs, after a come-from-behind win against Sky Blue FC. Natasha Kai opened up the game with her goal in the 30th minute after chipping a ball over Ashlyn Harris. In the 75th minute, Meghann Burke fouled Abby Wambach in the penalty area and a Penalty Kick was given to the Freedom. Wambach herself took it to even up the game. In the 84th minute, Wambach split the defense and received a through ball which was shot to the inside of the post and into the goal for the win.
The week ended with the Boston Breakers taking on the Philadelphia Independence on Sunday on FSC. Philly scored the first goal in the 16th minute of the match. Tina DiMartino served a ball to Amy Rodriguez who dummied it and let it go to Joana Lohman. Rodriguez made a run towards goal and Lohman played a through ball. but Rodriguez’s shot cracked the post. Lohman was there to clean it up and get Philly on the board. In the 34th minute, Kristine Lilly took a corner kick for Boston. She played it to the top of the 18 to defender Stephanie Cox who one-timed a beautiful shot into the back of the net. This was her first career goal. In the 59th minute, Lauren Cheney made a run to a ball from Lindsay Tarpley, but Estelle Johnson knocked Cheney off the ball and the referee pointed to the spot. Kelly Smith shot to the right, Karina LeBlanc dove the the left, and it was 2-1 Boston. The Breakers are still in 3rd place, and Philly is still in 2nd. The Breakers have 3 games left in the season, and Philly will need to get 6 points out of their last 2 for the best chance to host the semifinal.
Week 21 schedule:
FC Gold Pride @ Sky Blue FC, 7 pm ET
Boston Breakers @ Atlanta Beat, 7:30 pm ET
Philadelphia Independence @ Chicago Red Stars, 8pm ET
Sky Blue FC @ Atlanta Beat, 6 pm ET
Boston Breakers @ FC Gold Pride, 9 pm ET
Washington Freedom @ Chicago Red Stars, 6 pm ET LIVE on FSC