Week 17 of Women's Professional Soccer again saw a few jumps in the standings. Teams were a bit shorthanded with international friendlies taking place.
Sky Blue FC and the Washington Freedom combined to score the most goals in a WPS match in their 4-4 draw.
Five games later, the Los Angeles Sol (11-2-4, 37 points), who still was on hiatus, remained in first place. The Boston Breakers (7-6-3, 24) took over second place after topping Chicago on Sunday. Saint Louis Athletica (7-6-2, 23 points) dropped to third place. Sky Blue (6-6-4, 22) jumped into fourth. The Washington (5-6-5, 20) dropped to fifth. The Chicago Red Stars (4-8-5, 17) remained in sixth while FC Gold Pride (3-9-3, 12) remained in last.
PISCATAWAY, NJ -- Sky Blue FC
In the 4th minute, Washington's
Two minutes later, Kai got the home team back into the match.
Sky Blue took control in the 27th minute. A scramble in the box found
Less than a minute later, Washington's Bompastor found an open
In the 54th minute. Washington's
Rosana sent the ball to Kai in the box in the 86th minute. Kai forced McLeod to come at her and then drilled the ball past the keeper for a 4-3 advantage.
Two minutes into stoppage time, a Sky Blue player deflected a ball toward goal. Branam cleared it as best as she could. But Whitehill flew into the box and rocketed the shot home, forcing the 4-4 draw.
"It was a really bizarre game - it went back and forth," White said. "We showed a lot of character coming back after giving up an early goal, but of course we wanted to come up with three points, especially after having the lead that late in the game."
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Angela Hucles tallied the lone goal to lead Boston.
In the 35th minute,
The Red Stars threw all they had at Boston in the second half, outshooting the home side 13-2.
In the 64th minute, Chicago had a strong opportunity. Defender
"I thought we were very good in the first half, and we knew that they would push out a lot more," Breakers head coach
"We chose to stay with the 4-5-1 and looked for counterattack opportunities. I don't think we got enough of those. I think we were a little bit too eager, and gave up the ball too much. They had chances to score. We bent, but we didn't break."
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A second half goal by
"I think for any team, besides L.A., who are already in the finals, that's all that matters: points matter, goals matter, shutouts matter," Freedom forward
Saint Louis forward
In the second half, Washington turned up the heat. In the 64th minute, Spisak tweaked her quad and left the match. Freedom goalkeeper coach
The Freedom's attack continued and paid dividends in the 74th minute.
PISCATAWAY, N.J. --
"It's very exciting," Hanks said. "It's not only great for me, but great for the team coming out with a win. We go into every game looking for three points and I'm glad I could provide help for the team. Keeley (Dowling) played a great ball and I took a touch and just hit it."
The first half ended with limited chances for both clubs. But in the second half, both teams turned up the heat. Chicago's
Hanks entered the match as a substitute in the 62nd minute and helped bring some life to the offense. But it didn't pay off until late in the match. Chicago's best opportunity happened in the 89th minute when
Moments later Sky Blue took control. Hanks drilled a Dowling pass into the net for the 1-0 win. Hanks tallied her first goal of the season for Sky Blue FC, but second overall. She tallied her first goal as a member of Saint Louis Athletica.
With the win, Sky Blue FC reached the .500 mark for the first time all season. Chicago dropped its second match of the season. But with three games left, they're not completely out of the playoff scene.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Boston's
FC Gold Pride struggled to get any offense going in the first half, creating just two shots. Boston had eight shots in the first half, including six on goal. In the second half, the home side picked up the offense, with nine shots to Boston's one.
The Bay Area squad almost forced the equalizer in the 57th minute.