WPS: Boston sends L.A. Sol to first lost of season
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (
English sensation Kelly Smith put the Breakers up 1-0 in the second minute of play. Her goal, the quickest in WPS history, is her fourth on the season. Several Breakers' teammates including midfielder Angela Hucles and defender Heather Mitts set up Smith's goal. Mitts' cross found forward Kelly Schmedes who fired at goal, but her shot was deflected by Sol goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc. Smith capitalized on the loose ball and shot past a diving LeBlanc to begin the night's scoring.
"The ball just popped back out and it was crowded but I saw some space to the right of the goal and lucky enough it went in." Smith said after the game. "It was just under two minutes; I've never scored a goal that quickly. I just got in a lucky position and was able to get back on the score sheet."
Schmedes had yet another chance to score in the 12th minute after receiving a long ball from defender Alex Scott. LeBlanc, who ended with four saves, handled the shot.
In the 17th minute, forward Han Duan's shot sailed high of the Breakers' goal as the Sol began to mount a sustained attack that lasted until the end of the half capping with Marta's 50-yard run into the box in the 44th minute of play. As she neared the endline she sent a cross near goal, but the ball did not find a Sol teammate.
Both teams were unable to establish consistent possession to begin the second half and the game play lulled until Kristine Lilly's goal in the 55th minute. Lilly ran free down the left-side of the field and came upon a long ball from defender Stacy Bishop. Lilly sent her shot to the far post past LeBlanc to put the Breakers' advantage at two.
The Sol's Brittany Bock brought one back for Los Angeles in the 63rd minute after she located Aya Miyama's free kick. The ball went off her body and past Breakers goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill.
With the score now 2-1 in favor of the Breakers, the Sol sent several shots at goal in the final twenty-five minutes of play with Marta leading the attack. Her best chances came in the in the 76th minute when she launched a shot to the left of Luckenbill and in the 89th minute when the Brazilian superstar had a chance from the right side. Luckenbill came up with both saves.
Boston, now second in the league with 9 points, will have an opportunity to overtake the Sol for first place when the two meet next weekend at The Home Depot Center on May 10.
BOYDS, Md. (
Saint Louis took a 2-1 lead into half time, courtesy of two Daniela goals. Early in the second half they made it 3-1. Last week the Freedom fought their way back, and today they did the same thing. Sonia Bompastor led the Washington attack with two goals, including an injury time goal to tie the game at 3-3.
Saint Louis got things started in the seventh minute. After 276 scoreless minutes Brazilian star Daniela found the net. She took possession of a Katie Jo Spisak save on a Melissa Tancredi shot and knocked it home for a 1-0 lead.
Twenty-two minutes later, Washington's Sonia Bompastor tied things up, for her first goal of the season. Jill Gilbeau sent the ball to Bompastor, who headed it jut inside the right post.
Daniela doubled Athletica's score in the 41st minute, burying a left-footed shot into the upper from about 25 yards out.
Slippery field conditions and rainy weather made things a bit rough on both teams in the second half. But it didn't stop the goals.
Saint Louis jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the 69th minute. Rookie Kerri Hanks forwarded the ball to Eniola Aluko who caught up with the ball. She easily beat Spisak for a two-goal lead.
Things changed for Saint Louis with the time running out. Defender Tina Ellertson left the game due to cramping in the 74th minute. Washington picked up the pace, forcing a goal just a few minutes later. Abby Wambach passed the ball to Lisa DeVanna in front of the goal. DeVanna headed it in for her first goal of the season.
On the restart Daniela, who scored the first two goals in Athletica history, went down and left the game with a knee injury. Daniela was taken to the hospital after the game for further evaluation.
"Everyone fought hard in those last minutes," Ellertson said. "Washington kept pressing and they capitalized on the changes we were forced to make because of my coming off and then Daniela going down. We can't lapse at any point though. We have to stay focused for 90 minutes."
And then in stoppage time, Bompastor tied things up for a 3-3 final. Washington (1-2-2) is now unbeaten in the last two games. And Saint Louis (0-2-2)... well they headed home with goals, but still without a win.
"It's one of those games," Wambach said. "If it bounces your way you can get momentum, the game changes. I'm really proud of our team because it's not easy with 20 minutes left to come back from a two-goal deficit and at least walk away with a point."