Washington, Sky Blue FC earn playoff berths
In a down-to-the-wire finish to the 2009 WPS regular season, the Washington Freedom and New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC earned the final two playoff berths in Women's Professional Soccer in Week 20.
With a 3-1 victory by the Washington Freedom over Sky Blue FC on Saturday evening, the Freedom clinched third place in the WPS Standings and will again host Sky Blue FC in a rematch at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday, Aug. 15. On Sunday afternoon, Sky Blue FC clinched the fourth and final spot in the WPS Playoffs when the Boston Breakers lost at home in a nail-biter to the Los Angeles Sol, 2-1. With the score tied 1-1 and Boston pushing everyone up late in the game for a score -- and a potential playoff berth -- the Sol sealed Boston's fate when Shannon Boxx converted a stoppage-time PK. The loss eliminated any playoff hopes for the Breakers, who needed a victory over the Sol to edge Sky Blue FC for the fourth playoff spot.
Two teams, Saint Louis Athletica and Los Angeles Sol, already secured their playoff destiny prior to Week 20. The Athletica host the winner of the First Round between Washington and Sky Blue FC in the Super Semifinal on Wednesday, Aug. 19. As regular season champions, the Los Angeles Sol await the winner of the Super Semifinal in the WPS Championship on Aug. 22 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Washington Freedom 3, Sky Blue FC 1
Washington's Abby Wambach continued her hot streak of late with two goals and an assist to lead the Freedom over Sky Blue FC and clinch third place in the WPS Standings. The loss forced Sky Blue FC to wait another day for their playoff fate, before Boston lost at home, thereby allowing Sky Blue FC to continue their season for at least another week into the WPS First Round.
Los Angeles Sol 2, Boston Breakers 1
Los Angeles scored twice in the second half for their first comeback victory of the season and the team's first victory in four games since July 5th. Boston earned just one point in their final four games of the season to fall out of playoff contention and finish fifth in the final 2009 WPS Standings. Los Angeles awaits the winner of the Super Semifinal in the WPS Championship.
FC Gold Pride 1, Saint Louis Athletica 1
In a game with no bearing on the playoffs, FC Gold Pride earned a tie against second-place Athletica and could have won the game were it not for several spectacular saves by WPS All-Star selection Hope Solo in goal. Following a four-game losing streak, FC Gold Pride finished with six points in its final five games including draws against the league's top two teams and a victory over third-placed Washington.