The 16th week of WPS kicked off with two mid-week games as the Philadelphia Independence hosted the Chicago Red Stars while the Beat hosted the Washington Freedom. Amy Rodriguez continued to be on fire as she led Philly to a 3-0 win, and the Beat defeated the Freedom 3-2. The weekend action started with the Freedom traveling to Boston as they fell to the Breakers 3-1. On Sunday, Chicago continued their road trip as they took Sky Blue FC down 2-1, and the Beat and FC Gold Pride played to a scoreless draw.
In the 12th minute of the Philly-Chicago match, Amy Rodriguez scored first for Philly. Lori Lindsey stole the ball in the midfield and played a through ball to Rodriguez who then shot far post to beat Jillian Loyden who was a bit out of position. In the 26th minute, Nikki Krzysik started the counter attack that led to Philly’s second goal. She slid to kick a long pass up the field to find Rodriguez, who with her speed beat two defenders and chipped the ball over Loyden and into the goal. In the 55th minute, Rodriguez also took part in the third goal, but this time she assisted it. She curled a pass inside the box which Caroline Seger calmly volleyed past Loyden to secure the shutout win.
The Beat goes on in Atlanta. The Freedom lost 3-2 on Wednesday night as Monica Ocampo score the game-winning goal for the Beat in the final minutes of the game. The Atlanta Beat scored first in the 20th minute. Aya Miyama played a long ball into space for Johanna Rasmussen who chipped a perfect shot over Ashlyn Harris to the far side netting to make it 1-0. Twenty minutes later, the Freedom equalized. After Kia McNeil failed to clear a pass into the penalty area, Abby Wambach pounced on it to keep the play alive. She played a low cross to Homare Sawa who played it across to Nikki Marshall. Hope Solo got a hand on it, but couldn’t deflect it away from goal and it was 1-1. In the 44th minute, Tina Ellertson cause a penalty kick and earned a yellow card. Hope Solo tipped Sonia Bomastor’s kick over the bar. In the 64th minute, the Freedom took the lead when Wambach crossed the ball to an unmarked Sarah Huffman who finished off the play in the back post. In the 67th minute, McCall Zzerboni played a ball over the Freedom Backline to Ocampo who went 1v1 with Harris and buried her shot for the equalizer. In the 88th minute, Miyama passed a through ball to Ocampo, who received the pass, cut around a defender, and blasted a shot to the roof off the net to win the game.
The Boston Breakers, in pink, got on the board first as they defeated the Washington Freedom 3-1. In the 20th minute, Amy LePeilbet took a free kick which Jordan Angeli headed and was going wide. Kelly Smith came through at the last second to deflect to ball into goal. In the 56th minute, Cheney was fighting for a ball that she ended up kicking off a defender’s leg and fell to Jordan Angeli who capitalized to make it 2-1. Lene Mykjaland sent a cross to Abby Wambach who sen a header into goal in the 67th minute. 6 minutes before play ended, Amy LePeilbet blasted a low shot on target, and the rebound was knocked into the goal by Lauren Cheney.
The WPS game of the week was the one between first-placed FC Gold Pride and the last-placed Atlanta Beat and although fans watched a scoreless game on FSC, they had to be entertained throughout the full 90. Six minutes in, Aya Miyama played a ball to Eniola Aluko whose shot was saved by Nicole Barnhart. In the 25th minute Kelley O’Hara took a shot on Hope Solo who didn’t go the ball, but was saved by her best friend, the post. In the 42nd minute, Kelley O’Hara had another clear chance, but Hope Solo came up big saving her header at the last minute and then pouncing on the rebound before Tiffany Milbrett got to it. In the 61st minute, Ramona Bachmann laid off a pass to Lori Chalupny whose low shot was saved by Barnhart. Just a few seconds later, Shannon Boxx headed down a pass and shot a half-volley to the goal, but Hope Solo made a huge diving save to deflect the ball away. The rebound was crossed inside the six-yard box and Milbrett got a foot on it, but her shot went off the crossbar. In the 75th minute, Riley could not run after hurting her hip on a previously play, and let Ocampo take a shot that went just over the bar. Riley was subbed out after that. In the 78th, Ocampo crossed the ball to Bachman whose shot went slowly rolling just wide of the far post. In the 89th, Sinclair blasted a cross from Milbrett straight off the crossbar.
Chicago took an early lead on Sky Blue FC on Sunday as Karen Carney passed the ball to Ella Masar who chipped the ball over Jenni Branam, who was playing in her first WPS this year coming back from a broken patella. The second goal came way later in the 60th minute as Marian Dalmy played a through ball to Caren Carney who scored her first goal this year. Sky Blue was able to get a late goal in stoppage time from Brittany Taylor. Chicago walked away win the 3 points after two disappointing games the previous week.
- Philadelphia Independence @ Washington Freedom:Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
- Atlanta Beat @ Boston Breakers: Wednesday, 7:00 pm ET
- Sky Blue FC @ Atlanta Beat: Saturday, 7:00 pm ET
- Chicago Red Stars @ FC Gold Pride: Saturday, 10:oo pm ET
- Boston Breakers @ Philadelphia Independence: Sunday, 8 pm ET, live on FSC