Two games were played over the weekend, and new players got a chance to show what they’re made of in Week 6 of Women’s Professional Soccer. The Flash played yet another game at home on Friday night and handed the Boston Breakers a 3-2 loss. The Atlanta Beat was also at home this week, and the visiting Philadelphia Independence made a huge comeback to win the match 2-1 playing most of the match a man down on Sunday evening.
The Flash was playing without regular starters all over their lineup. Forwards Marta, Alex Morgan, and Christine Sinclair were away playing matches for Brazil, the USA, and Canada, respectively. In the backline, they were missing Ali Riley and Candace Chapman, who played matches for New Zealand and Canada, respectively.
The Breakers were playing without four US national team players who all made the World Cup roster and were in Columbus, Ohio for a friendly match against Japan. The four players were defenders Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, and Amy LePeilbet. Forward Lauren Cheney was also on national team duty. English international stars Kelly Smith and Alex Scott were also away playing a friendly match against Sweden.
Players like Kim Brandao, Gina Lewandowski, Beverly Goebel, and Gema Davison earned a spot in the starting lineup for the Flash. McCall Zerboni stepped up big time for the home team scoring two goals, and assisting one.
For the Breakers, players like Ifeoma Dieke, Nikki Washington, Leah Blaney, Kiersten Dallstream started the mtach rather than being substitutes.
The first goal came in the 10th minute when Zerboni found Brittany Bock with a long ball into the penalty area. Bock beat Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to the ball and sent it home to put the Flash up 1-0. 15 minutes later, Zerboni doubled the lead. Brandao played a long ball up the field to a Zerboni who was making a run for it. She took a touch to take control of the ball and shot it from about 25 yards out over Naeher who was off her line.
The Breakers weren’t willing to lose and in the 39th minute, Liz Bogus headed a corner kick from Nikki Washington past Flash goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris to finish the 1st half down a goal.
In the 69th minute, Zerboni scored her second goal of the match after Kandace Wilson played the ball out wide to Davison who dribbled the ball down to the end-line and then crossed it to the far post. Zerboni was found loosely marked and jumped high to head the ball into the net without any pressure.
The Breakers were awarded a penalty kick in the 79th minute and Kasey Moore scored it but it was not enough to get even one point out of the match.
On Sunday, the Philadelphia Independence was playing without starting goalkeeper Nicole Barhart, midfielders Lori Lindsey and Megan Rapinoe, and forward Amy Rodriguez who were all with the US national team. Val Henderson made her first start in goal for Philly. The Atlanta Beat was without US national team members Carli Lloyd and Heather Mitts.
The game was off to a good start for Philly but when Kia McNeil was ejected with a red card in 13th minute, the Beat was able to take advantage and get on the scoreboard before halftime Lori Chalupny got a shot off a pass from Megan Lenczyk inside the 18.
Philly did what very few teams are ever able to do when playing a man down throughout most of the match and made a big comeback after halftime to win. Just five minutes into the second half, Tasha Kai was tripped up and Philly was given a free kick. Lianne Sanderson shot the ball on frame and Alli Lipsher got her hands on it, but spilled it and Estelle Johnson was there to clean it up and tie the game.
Fired up by the equalizer, Philly made a big effort and pushed for another goal. A great passing sequence between Christine DiMartino, Kai, and Joanna Lohman led the ball to Spanish forward Laura del Rio whose shot proved to be the game-winner in the 73rd minute.
Saturday, May 21:
Sky Blue vs Atlanta beat, Yurcak Field, NJ at 7 p.m. ET
Sunday, May 22:
Boston Breakers vs. Philadephia Independence, Harvard University, at 4 p.m. ET
WNY Flash vs magicJack, Sahlen’s Stadium, at 6 p.m. ET live on FSC