May 17, 2009

The Los Angeles Sol retained the top spot of Women's Professional Soccer this weekend. The Sol (4-1-2, 14 points) ensured they would remain in first with a 1-0 win over Sky Blue FC on Friday. Boston (3-2-2, 11 points) earned a draw, moving into second place, while FC Gold Pride (3-3-1, 10 points) earned a victory to move into third.

CARSON, Calif. -- Marta scored a late goal to lead the Los Angeles Sol.

"It was a close battle and each team had opportunities," Sol head coach Abner Rogers said. "We had better opportunities in the first half, but we just didn't capitalize. But, at the end of the game, we scored the goal that mattered."

After many opportunities for both teams, it looked like the game might end in a scoreless draw. With just 10 minutes remaining, Los Angeles took control.

Camille Abily broke the game open with a deft pass that sliced open the Sky Blue defense. Marta dodged sliding Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Jenni Branam, beat two defenders and aimed the ball into the empty net.

Down a goal, Sky Blue couldn't even collect itself when it lost a top player. Forward Natasha Kai collided with Sol goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc and left the field on a stretcher.

Los Angeles held on to the lead to earn their fourth win. Marta's goal tied her with Kelly Smith for first in the league with four. Sky Blue FC (1-3-2, five points) remains at the bottom of the standings.

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Christine Sinclair scored the lone goal to boost FC Gold Pride.

"It was crucial for us to score in the first half," FC Gold Pride head coach Albertin Montoya said. "We wanted to apply pressure when we had the wind at our backs. And then second half we were going to work on countering. Defensively we held strong against an excellent offensive squad."

Red Stars forward Christiane had a decent shot in the 29th minute when she sent a slow low ball toward goal. Gold Pride goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart dove a little to the left and grabbed it for the save.

On the counterattack, FC Gold Pride's Adriane crossed the ball into the box. Red Stars goalkeeper Caroline Jonsson couldn't quite get control of it. After some confusion in the box, Sinclair, a forward, dribbled the loose ball into the net.

Chicago (2-2-2, eight points) had a number of chances, but couldn't convert and dropped its second straight. The Red Stars have been shut out of their last two games while allowing three.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Washington's Rebecca Moros scored in the first half, while Boston's Alex Scott scored in the second to account for the final score.

"This was probably the highest level game we have played this year," said Breakers head coach Tony DiCicco. "It was very fast and quick. I was proud of the way we played in the second half. We went for three points tonight, but give Washington credit for their exceptional first half. After their goal, we finally started to play our game and put together some good chances."

Washington controlled the tempo of the first half and, in the 33rd minute, took the lead. Lisa DeVanna found Rebecca Moros on the right side of the box. Moros sent the ball past Breakers goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill for a 1-0 advantage. The Freedom held on to the lead for the remainder of the half.

In the second half, Boston was on a mission. Just four minutes into the half, the Breakers tied things up. Christine Latham forwarded the ball to defender Alex Scott, who was running toward goal. Scott rocketed the shot into the top of the goal, evening the score.

Goalkeeper Erin McLeod played her first WPS match for Washington (1-2-3, six points), which climbed out of last place and now sits in fifth.

You May Like