WPS Week 22

The final week of the WPS regular season determined the fourth team to grab the last playoff spot, and who would host the Super Semi Final. Sky Blue FC and the Boston Breakers battled it out to a scoreless draw, while FC Gold Pride finished the season as strong as ever with a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Independence. The Atlanta Beat went on to lose 1-0 on a goal from Abby Wambach that sent the Washington Freedom into the playoffs.

Sky Blue FC needed a win and a Washington Freedom loss to get into the playoffs, but the Breakers held them scoreless until the final whistle.  Meanwhile, in DC, the Freedom played a close game against the Atlanta Beat, but Abby Wambach came through with her typical late game heroics. After Becky Sauerbrunn kicked a long ball over the Beat defense, Wambach ran onto it and touched the ball over an oncoming Hope Solo and into the goal in the 88th minute. The Freedom will travel to Philly to face the Independence in the First Round of the playoffs.

FC Gold Pride hosted the Philadelphia Independence, who was trying to get a win and finish off in second place to host the semi final. Well their work job got a lot harder when they lost 4-1, meaning that they will have to end in third place and fight their way to the semifinal, instead of hosting the semifinal like they had planned. Kelley O’Hara scored the first goal of the day in the 40th minute when Marta played the ball out wide to her. O”Hara seemed to look up for options in the box to cross the ball to. Instead, she found herself scoring from feet away from the end line. Just about a minute later, FC Gold Pride struck again. Once again, O’Hara took part in the goal, this time assisting Marta. She played a ball into space to which Marta ran to, just got a touch on it to get around Val Henderson, and shot the ball into the open net. Four minutes into the second half, Christine Sinclair was fouled and a free kick was given to the Pride. Marta took the kick and O’Hara was there to head it home and make it 3-0. In the 51st minute, the Independence scored a consolation goal after a series of passes that led to a ball over the defense from Lori Lindsey to which Lianne Sanderson half-volleyed past Nicole Barnhart. In the 64th minute, FC Gold Pride kept it going and made it 4-1 after Marta and Sinclair combined for a goal.

Playoffs Schedule:

First round:

  • Sunday, Sept. 19: Washington Freedom @ Philadelphia Independence, 2:30 pm ET, LIVE on FSN

Super Semi Final:

  • Thursday, Sept. 23: Winner of 1st round @ Boston Breakers, 8 pm ET, LIVE on FSC

Final:

  • Sunday, Sept. 26: Winner of Semi Final @ FC Gold Pride, 2:30 pm ET, LIVE on FSN

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