Sol continues dominance with draw, win
Week 11 of Women's Professional Soccer included four games -- a rare Wednesday match and three Sunday matches. The Los Angeles Sol continued their dominance, earning a 1-1 draw vs. the Chicago Red Stars, and a 3-1 win over the Washington Freedom during its two matches and improving to 7-1-3 (24 points). The Sol are now unbeaten in their last six matches, recording a 4-0-2 record since May 10th. Camille Abily tallied three of the Sol's four goals, becoming the top scorer in the WPS with six goals.
Cristiane tallied an 88th minute goal for the Chicago Red Stars on Wednesday for the 1-0 lead. But two minutes later the Los Angeles Sol's Camile Abily found the net and forced the 1-1 draw.
"When you score two minutes before it ends, you expect to win the game," Red Stars goalkeeper Caroline Jonsson said. "We actually performed better. We have a lot of positive things to take from the game."
Chicago forward Ella Masar crossed a perfect shot to the near post, where Cristiane was waiting. The Brazilian striker buried the shot into the right side of the net past Los Angeles goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc. The goal snapped Chicago's 396-minute scoreless streak.
While it looked as if the Red Stars would upset the No. 1 team, the Sol were just getting started. In the 90th minute Marta shot the ball off the post and back into play. Chicago goalkeeper Caroline Jonsson dove toward the rebound, but was unable to salvage it. The ball bounced to Camille Abily, who finished the shot and tied the game at 1-1.
Camile Abily tallied two goals to lead the Los Angeles Sol to a 3-1 win over the Washington Freedom (3-3-3, 12 points). The Sol now own a 12-point lead over second place Washington in the standings.
In the 14th minute, Shannon Boxx sent a long pass to Aya Miyami in the center of the field. Miyami beat Washington's defense and passed the ball to Abily. Washington goalkeeper Erin McLeod rushed toward Abily, who buried the ball into the net.
The Freedom evened things out in the 57th minute. Cat Whitehill sent a freekick into the box. Sonia Bompastor hit it into the net, tying the match at 1-1.
But three minutes later, Los Angeles took the lead. Whitehill challenged the Sol's Brittany Bock in the box. The ball bounced off Whitehill's arm and the referee awarded Los Angeles the penalty kick. Abily rocketed the shot inside the left post for a 2-1 lead.
Six minutes later, Bock put the game out of reach. Marta passed the ball to Bock on the left side of the box. Bock shot a short ball past McLeod and into the net for a 3-1 lead.
"It was a fairly even game, but we made three pretty bad defensive lapses,? Freedom head coach Jim Gabarra said. "They have been taking advantage of those all year and they did again today. We got the equalizer, but next time they were in our end we gave up a hand ball."
The loss ended Washington's unbeaten streak at five games. Washington remains in second place, but has only a one-point lead over the three third-place teams.
Amanda Cinalli started her first match for Saint Louis Athletica and it paid dividends, as she led her team to a 1-0 win over Sky Blue FC.
In the 15th minute, Athletica's Angie Woznuk sent the ball to Eniola Aluko inside the penalty box. Aluko sent a high ball over Sky Blue's defense. Amanda Cinalli settled the ball with her chest, and shot it into the net past Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Karen Bardsley for a 1-0 lead.
"It was a great build up coming up the field. We worked it to Aluko and she had a great cross and I was in the right place at the right time," said Cinalli. "It was a great feeling and it has been so much fun to be a part of this team so it was great to be out there contributing."
Sky Blue FC didn't go down without a fight. In the 74th minute, Collette McCallum was standing alone in front of the goal. She shot the ball toward goal, but miss-hit her attempt. The visitors kept up the pressure for the remainder of the match, but couldn't convert any of its 14 shots. Bardsley kept the net clean for the remainder of the match with three saves. Athletica's Hope Solo stood strong in goal for the home side with six saves and earned her xxth shutout of the season.
Saint Louis (3-3-2, 11 points) moved into a three-way tie for third place in the standings. Sky Blue FC (2-5-2, 8 points) remains in last place in the standings.
FC Gold Pride's Christine Sinclair tallied an early goal to give the home team a 1-0 lead. But Chicago's Cristiane found the net in the second half to force the 1-1 draw.
In the 14th minute, FC Gold Pride's Eriko Arakawa crossed the ball to Sinclair. The Canadian international beat Chicago's defense and sent the ball in from the left side of the net.
But two minutes into the second half, Chicago tied things up. Megan Rapinoe crossed the ball to Cristiane, who headed the ball toward goal. The ball looked as if it deflected off of FC Gold Pride defender Rachel Buehler's leg. But Cristiane earned the goal.
Chicago (2-3-4, 10 points) ends the week with two points, and now sits one-point out of third place. FC Gold Pride (3-5-2, 11 points) is in a three-way tie for third place.