Week 9 held another battle for 1st place as the FC Gold Pride took over Philadelphia, another Boston Breakers loss after Sky Blue FC took home a win on a late goal, and the usual for the Chicago Red Stars as they tied the Washington Freedom, except this time, they actually managed to score some goals- that’s a positive.
The first game of the week was Chicago versus Washington. This game showed everyone the Red Star’s character first and foremost. After going down 2-0, they came back to get at least 1 point out of this game. They haven’t had the best season, but everyone in Chicago is really optimistic about turning their luck around. Abby Wambach scored first for the Freedom. She headed one of Cat Whitehill’s famous long free kicks, which she always seems to get at the end of, in the 12th minute of play. Homare Sawa scored the second goal in the 19th minute after heading a Sonia Bompastor cross to the back post into the top corner. Teams need to do a better job of defending the Freedom’s crosses, since they often score on those. Cristiane came to the rescue scoring 2 goals for the Red Stars. In the 31st minute, she dove for a Karen Carney cross across the goal, beating Erin McLeod to it. The equalizer came late in the second half after Casey Nogueira dragged defenders along with her on her run across the top of the 18, and laid off a pass to a wide open Cristiane, who chipped her shot into the back of the net. The Freedom stands in 2nd place with 15 points behind FC Gold Pride, while the Red Stars moved up a spot to 5th with 9 points.
The Boston Breakers, coming off a bye week, hosted Sky Blue FC. Jordan Angeli scored her first goal after Sky Blue FC failed to clear a corner kick out of danger. Angeli took advantage of the scramble in the near post and slotted her shot past defenders and Karen Bardsley. Heather O’Reilly tied the game in the 53rd minute after Breakers goalkeeper Ashley Phillips came out to kick the ball away outside the box from Natasha Kai. O’Reilly perfectly shot the ball into the empty net from about 25 yards out. Late in the game Rosana was bumped and fell inside the penalty area, and the referee quickly pointed to the spot. Rosana herself took the PK and converted it for her first goal of the season, and to give Sky Blue the win. The Breakers are now in 6th place with 7 points, while Sky Blue stand in 4th with 14 points.
The last game of the week was the battle for first between FC Gold Pride and the Philadelphia Independence in Philly. Marta spoiled the game for Philly and helped the Pride stay on top of the league with 19 points. The first goal came in the 40th minute after Lori Lindsey gave the ball away in the middle of the field. Marta intercepted Lindsey’s pass to Heather Mitts, fed the ball into space for Christine Sinclair, who shot the ball past Karina LeBlanc to the far post. Marta once again created trouble for Philly as she outran Holmfridur Magnusdottir and nutmegged her shot past LeBlanc in the 53rd minute. Tine DiMartino then scored a goal to take Nicole Barnhart’s shutout away. The Independence have 14 points and stand in 3rd place.
- Sky Blue FC vs Philadelphia Independence at 7 pm ET
- Atlanta Beat vs Chicago Red Stars at 7 pm ET
- FC Gold Pride vs Boston Breakers on FSC at 3pm PT (FC Gold Pride’s new stadium opener)