WPS: Los Angeles extends unbeaten streak to 10
Los Angeles once again dominated competition this week. The Sol earned a 2-1 win over St. Louis Athletica on Wednesday and a 4-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday to again distance itself from the pack. The Sol (10-1-4, 34 points) now hold a 16-point lead over second-place Boston Breakers (5-4-3, 18 points). Boston jumped into second place after handing the Washington Freedom a 1-0 loss on Wednesday.
St. Louis (5-5-2, 17 points) took third with a 2-1 win over Sky Blue FC, while the Freedom (4-4-4, 16 points) sit in fourth. The bottom three teams are still battling it out.
The Sol extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games, posting a 7-0-3 record dating back to May 2. L.A.'s Marta and Camille Abily are now tied for first in WPS with eight goals each.
FENTON, Mo. -- Han Duan and Marta tallied in the second half to give the Sol a 2-0 lead. Athletica looked to get back into the match when Kerri Hanks netted a late goal. But Los Angeles held on for its ninth win.
Duan entered the match for L.A. in the second half. Five minutes later, she blasted an unassisted ball past St. Louis goalkeeper Hope Solo for a 1-0 lead.
Marta doubled the score in the 73rd minute. Aly Wagner forwarded the ball to Marta in the 18-yard box. The Brazilian nailed the ball into the right corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.
In the 81st minute, Hanks did the near impossible, when she fired a ball past Los Angeles goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, cutting the lead in half.
"We made a few changes to start the second half," Sol head coach Abner Rogers said. "Duan came in off the bench and scored a world-class goal. We only had two good chances tonight and we got goals from both."
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Christine Latham headed home the match's only goal Wednesday as Boston jumped ahead of Washington into second place on June 24.
The Freedom didn't make things easy on Boston, registering more shots than the home squad. Washington goalkeeper Erin McLeod made three saves, yet still allowed her first goal in three games. But the one big chance Boston had, it finished to earn its fifth win of the season.
In the 37th minute, a Washington Freedom player fouled Kelly Smith. Heather Mitts crossed the free kick into Latham on the right side of the net. Latham headed it into the opposite corner, giving her club the 1-0 advantage.
The Freedom had their best opportunity in the 44th minute, when Lori Lindsey shot the ball just wide left of goal.
"I thought the first half was probably our best soccer from both an offensive and defensive standpoint," Breakers head coach Tony DiCicco said. "Washington is a good team and we just didn't let them play in the first half. they had some opportunities, and good teams are going to get opportunities."
CARSON, Calif. -- Two goals by Marta, and one each by Shannon Boxx and Camille Abily led the Sol on Saturday.
In the 15th minute, McCall Zerboni sent the ball to Boxx, who was inside the penalty area. Boxx shot the ball past Chicago goalkeeper Caroline Jonsson and off the post for a 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later, the Sol tallied again. Aya Miyami forwarded the ball to Abily, who notched her eighth goal of the season to give the home side a commanding 2-0 lead.
Chicago had its best opportunity of the first half in the 33rd minute. Cristiane sent the ball to Lindsay Tarpley, whose shot past the keeper was nullified by an offsides call.
Despite a two-goal lead, the Sol didn't let up in the second half. Instead, Marta turned up the intensity. Miyama sent the ball to Marta in the 62nd minute. Marta snuck the ball past Jonsson for the 3-0 lead.
In the 90th minute, Marta struck again. Aly Wagner found Marta open. The Brazilian then shot the ball past Jonsson to account for the final score.
"It was a big challenge today as it was our third game in seven days, but I thought we played very well," Sol head coach Abner Rogers said. "Obviously, the result speaks for itself. The number of opportunities that we created was very satisfying."
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Eniola Aluko and Elise Weber tallied goals to spark St. Louis on Sunday.
Athletica's Lori Chalupny found an open Aluko in just the second minute of play. Aluko struck a perfect ball past Sky Blue goalkeeper Jenni Branam and into the lower left corner for a 1-0 lead.
The home team didn't give up easy. Sky Blue FC outshot the visitors 21-5. In the 76th minute, they finally found the net. Heather O'Reilly forwarded the ball to Natasha Kai, who challenged Athletica defender Tina Ellertson. The ball broke free and rolled to Julianne Sitch, who buried it into the net, tying the match.
But Athletica fought back. In the 84th minute, Melissa Tancredi threw the ball into play. Weber caught up with it and lobbed a high ball over a jumping Branam and bouncing into the left side of the net for a 2-1 win.
"We didn't play the best, but we won the game," Aluko said. "We played very well against Los Angeles and lost and we played so-so here tonight but we got the result and that is what counts. We kept going and Elise Weber stepped up."