Breakers hand Sol their first defeat
Week 6 in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) saw the Los Angeles Sol drop their first game, as they fell to Boston 2-1. St. Louis got on the scoreboard for the first time this season with three goals -- but gave up a late lead to tie Washington 3-3, while FC Gold Pride won its first game since its season opener with a 1-0 defeat of Sky Blue. Only one point separates the Sol from the Breakers at the top of the WPS table.
Boston 2, Los Angeles 1
The Boston Breakers became the first team to score against and defeat the first-place Los Angeles Sol with a 2-1 victory on Saturday evening in front of 8,031 at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Mass. With the win, Boston (3-2-0, 9 points) jumps ahead of Chicago (2-0-2) into second place in the league standings. Los Angeles is now 3-1-1 and remains in first place.
Boston Breakers forward Kelly Smith added to her résumé as she became the first player to record a goal against Los Angeles this season with her second-minute tally. It is now the fastest goal scored in the WPS this season, and it was the fourth goal for Smith in four matches.
Kristine Lilly notched the game-winning goal with a left-footed strike in the 55th minute. It was her second goal of the season and first game winner for the Breakers forward.
The Sol cut into the Breakers' lead in the 63rd minute. Aya Miyama sent a ball in the box and teammate Brittany Bock deflected the ball in off her body. It was Bock's first goal of the season.
"I am really proud of the players because they were embarrassed last week," said Boston coach Tony DiCicco. "They played the No. 1 team in the league who hadn't lost a game or given up a goal, and I am very proud of the showing we had. The key to the game was mentality."
In the 85th minute, Marta excited the crowd with a dangerous cross from the right of Breakers goalie Kristen Luckenbill, but the ball sailed to the far corner. Marta had a chance in the 89th minute from right inside the 18-yard line, but Luckenbill handled the low shot to secure the Breakers victory.
St. Louis 3, Washington 3
After fighting off a second-half rally last week, the Washington Freedom found itself as the team in need of the rally this week, scoring two late goals to pull off a 3-3 tie with the St. Louis Athletica in front of a packed house at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Sunday.
After having gone three games without scoring a goal, Athletica (0-2-2) got on the board early as Daniela put one past Freedom goalkeeper Kati Jo Spisak seven minutes into the match.
The Freedom (1-2-2) answered back in the 29th minute when Sonia Bompastor headed in a ball from Jill Gilbeau. It was Bompastor's first goal with the Freedom while it was Gilbeau's second assist.
Daniela struck again toward the end of the first half, scoring a second unassisted goal in the 41st minute to put St. Louis ahead 2-1.
It appeared St. Louis had put the game out of reach in the 69th, when Eniola Aluko scored the team's third goal on an assist from Kerri Hanks.
However, Washington cut the lead to 3-2 just 10 minutes later, when a Lisa De Vanna header found the back of the net for her first goal with the Freedom. De Vanna was set up by Abby Wambach, her second assist of the season.
On the ensuing kickoff, Wambach slipped trying to make a tackle and got tangled up with Daniela, the latter going down with a knee injury.
"We're real sorry that Daniela went down," Wambach said. "I never want to be on that end of a collision, never want to see a player go down and I sure hope she's all right considering especially what I've been going through the last nine months." Wambach received a yellow card on the play.
Needing a final goal to salvage a tie, Bompastor struck for the second time in the 90th minute, again on a header.
"It's one of those games," Wambach said. "If it bounces your way you can get momentum, the game changes."
FC Gold Pride 1, Sky Blue FC 0
The skies cleared and the sun shined for the second meeting of the season between FC Gold Pride and Sky Blue FC on Sunday. The Pride emerged victorious, earning a 1-0 victory over Sky Blue FC in a physical match that took place at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara.
Both teams mounted dangerous attacks throughout the first half and as a result, both keepers were constantly tested. FC Gold Pride keeper Nicole Barnhart earned her first shutout of the season, withstanding numerous shots by Sky Blue FC's offense.
"I think once again it was definitely an entertaining game," said FC Gold Pride coach Albertin Montoya. "We played some good soccer out there, unfortunately we didn't get some goals there in the first half. One thing we focused on this week was getting a clean sheet for the first time and fortunately it paid off for us."
Both teams shook up their lineups in the second half, using up all three of their substitutions. FC Gold Pride substituted the entire starting front line, bringing in Eriko Arakawa, Leigh Ann Robinson and Adriane.
The fresh legs up top seemed to be the right move for the Pride as Adriane connected with Leigh Ann Robinson for the game-winning goal in the 86th minute. For Robinson, who can usually be seen on the Pride's back line, it was the first goal of her professional career.
With Sunday's victory, the Pride take over sole possession of fourth place in the WPS standings with a 2-2-1 record. For Sky Blue FC, the loss leaves the team still searching of their first WPS victory.
FC Gold next faces St. Louis on Saturday, while the Sky Blue travel to Chicago for a Mother's Day Game at Toyota Park.