With another shutout from goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc and another clutch goal from star forward Marta, the Los Angeles Sol moved just one win away from clinching the WPS regular season crown when they defeated the Washington Freedom, 1-0, Sunday at the Maryland SoccerPlex. With over a month left in the regular season, the Sol could clinch their place atop the standings and the right to host the WPS championship on Aug. 22 with a victory Wednesday afternoon against Saint Louis Athletica.
The Athletica escaped with a 1-0 victory at FC Gold Pride on Sunday evening and moved into second place in the WPS Standings, two points ahead of the Boston Breakers, who were defeated 1-0 by Sky Blue FC on Independence Day. With their win, Sky Blue FC move just one point behind Washington in the race for the fourth and final playoff position in WPS.
Sky Blue FC 1, Boston Breakers 0
With every game crucial to its playoff hopes, Sky Blue FC got a game-winning goal in the sixth minute by Heather O'Reilly, scored directly off a corner kick. Goalkeeper Jenni Branam led a strong defensive effort in goal, as Sky Blue FC held on for a 1-0 victory over the Boston Breakers. With the win, Sky Blue FC improves to 4-6-3 for 15 points and moves into fifth place in the standings. The Breakers drop to 5-5-3 for 18 points. It was the second straight one-goal win for Sky Blue FC over Boston. Sky Blue FC's four wins this year have come against two teams -- Chicago and Boston -- and the New Jersey-side will look to clinch the season series against Boston with a win or tie this weekend in the second of two straight games against the Breakers.
Los Angeles Sol 1, Washington Freedom 0
The Los Angeles Sol rallied in the closing moments to break a scoreless tie and defeat the Washington Freedom, 1-0, at the Maryland SoccerPlex in front of 5,143 fans on Sunday night.
The Sol, who became the first team in WPS to clinch a playoff berth last week, traded scoring opportunities with the Freedom for the first 90 minutes of the match before three-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta found the back of the net in stoppage time.
In the 91st minute, Marta collected a pass left of the area from Japanese international Aya Miyama, touched it and immediately drilled a shot towards the far post to give the Sol its fourth consecutive victory and extend its unbeaten streak to 11 games.
Saint Louis Athletica 1, FC Gold Pride 0
Athletica midfielder Lori Chalupny scored a clutch goal to give Saint Louis Athletica a 1-0 win over FC Gold Pride at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Chalupny's 73rd-minute effort was a cleanly struck line drive from well outside the left edge of the penalty area that beat goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart to the upper far corner. The goal, Chalupny's second of the year, gave Athletica a hard earned three points and moves them into sole possession of second place in the WPS standings.
FC Gold Pride are now winless since May 16 and have fallen into last place in the WPS Standings, four points from the last playoff spot.