Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com
By DAN LAULETTA
Amy Rodriguez, Allison Falk, and Lianne Sanderson score during a second half flurry to lead the Philadelphia Independence to a come-from-behind, 3-1 victory over the Washington Freedom. It was the first win for the expansion Independence and kept the club undefeated after three matches.
“In the second half Lori Lindsey and (Caroline Seger) took over the game, and when they take over the game we tend to have good results,” coach Paul Riley said. “They got all of the ball and then we started getting behind.”
Lindsey had two assists and has now made the final pass on three of Philadelphia’s four goals. The game-winner was a free kick into Allison Falk, the same combination that teamed up in Boston a week earlier.
Val Henderson drew rave reviews for filling in at goalkeeper while Karina LeBlanc was with Canada. Henderson surrendered only a second half goal to Lisa De Vanna while making three saves and controlling her box well. Henderson is now 2-0 with a 0.50 goals against in her WPS career, both times stepping in for LeBlanc. They were teammates on the Los Angeles Sol last season.
The Freedom dropped to 1-2-0 and drew the ire of their coach Jim Gabarra, who was not pleased with the lapses that led to the three Independence goals.
“I am disappointed in the 20 minutes we stopped competing,” he said.
Washington’s starting goalkeeper Erin McLeod is LeBlanc’s teammate on Canada so they too were forced to use their backup and eventually third-string goalkeeper.
US National Team legend Brianna Scurry started but had to be removed at halftime after taking a knock to the head. Meagan McCray made her WPS debut for the second half and allowed all three goals.
In other Week 3 action:
FC Gold Pride 2, Atlanta Beat 1
Carrie Dew scored the game-winner in the 89th minute to lift FC Gold Pride to 6 points and keep the expansion Beat winless. A flip-throw by rookie Kiki Bosio started the scoring play and another rookie, Ali Riley, wound up with the assist. Tiffeny Milbrett scored a first half goal for Gold Pride which was canceled out by Monica Ocampo. It marks the first two-game winning streak for Gold Pride.
The Beat not only lost the game, they lost No. 1 draft pick Tobin Heath to an apparent ankle injury in the first half. Heath was back in Atlanta undergoing tests on Monday.
Saint Louis Athletica 1, Boston Breakers 1
Kasey Moore and Carolyn Blank scored on a soggy field at Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park as both teams stayed undefeated. Moore stepped into a short corner kick from Kristine Lilly and, aided by Kelly Smith’s dummy run, smashed a shot far post to beat Hope Solo. Later an Athletica free kick was flicked from the far post by Tina Ellertson to Blank who had little trouble converting her first professional goal.
Field conditions were atrocious and included a puddle that constantly slowed the ball down and cost players their feet. Through it all the teams put on a solid show. Solo made several key saves to preserve the draw.
Sky Blue FC 1, Chicago Red Stars 0
Tasha Kai scored the only goal to give Sky Blue FC a 1-0 win in a repeat of their match two weeks earlier when Kai also scored the only goal. Karen Bardsley made six saves for her second shutout of the season that lifted Sky Blue into a first place tie with FC Gold Pride, who they will host Saturday night on FSC.
The night was not without setback though as Carli Lloyd suffered a broken ankle and will join Christie Rampone, Anita Asante, and Jenni Branam on the shelf.
Chicago moved closer to crisis having scored only one goal in three games and 19 in 23 games dating to its debut last April.