Athletica Debut New Stadium In 1-0 Win.
ST. LOUIS, MO (June 7, 2009) –
Saint Louis Athletica opened play in their new home facility, the Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park, with a pivotal 1-0 win over Sky Blue FC. Athletica not only debuted their new home ground head coach Jorge Barcellos debuted some new names into his starting lineup, names that paid big dividends.
Amanda Cinalli, starting her first game and playing her first minutes this year for Saint Louis, opened the scoring in the 15th minute. An Angie Woznuk ball from midfield found Eniola Aluko inside the penalty area, Aluko was able to loft a ball over the Sky Blue defense which Cinalli chested down and struck cleanly into the back of the net. The goal was Cinalli’s first in her professional career.
“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.”
Cinalli was injured the day before the season began. An April 3 practice collision with teammate Melissa Tancredi had kept Cinalli on the sidelines for the past two months.
“The important thing is that we took the three points today,” said Jorge Barcellos. “Stephanie Logterman gave us a lot of quality on the outside of the defense. Cinalli was a very good marking player today and she really helped the team and of course scored the goal but we will take her progress slowly as she makes her way back.”
Cinalli’s early goal staked Athletica to a 1-0 lead which they made hold up over the next 75 minutes, but holding onto the lead wasn’t easy. Athletica goalkeeper Hope Solo was called into action in the 22nd minute. Solo tipped a Natasha Kai blast from outside the penalty area over the bar. Solo made another fine save on Heather O’Reilly in the 33rd minute, this time punching away the shot from her United States teammate.
Athletica led the charge as the second half closed out. Christie Welsh, Stephanie Logterman, Elise Weber, and Angie Woznuk all took quality chances in the final ten minutes.
In the second half Sky Blue FC had their chances to get back in the game. The most notable was a 74th minute ball played into Collette McCallum who found herself wide open in front of the net with space to shoot at. McCallum miss-hit her shot, topping the ball, and a clear-cut goal went wanting.
The final 15 minutes saw Sky Blue FC control possession but they could get the final ball forward to set up a chance a evening the score.
Eniola Aluko was removed in the second half. A hamstring tweak sidelined her for the rest of the game as she came off in the 58th minute. Aluko told the media after the game she could feel her hamstring about to possibly pull but that it hadn’t. Aluko’s running appeared labored just minutes before she came out.
The win moves Saint Louis to 3-3-2 for the season. Athletica now are on 11 point for the year and have won three of their last four games, posting three shutouts in that streak. Next up for Athletica is a trip to Boston next Sunday June 14 at Harvard Stadium. Game time is 5:00 p.m. central and can be seen on the Fox Soccer Channel, FSC.
Saint Louis Athletica (3-3-2) vs. Sky Blue FC (2-5-2)
June 7, 2009 – Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park, St. Louis, Missouri
15th STL Amanda Cinalli (assisted by Eniola Aluko)
Solo; Weber, McNeill (Larsson 69), Ellertson, Logterman; Fletcher, Woznuk, Cinalli (Francielle 66), Chalupny; Aluko (Hanks 58), Welsh
Bardsley; Schnur, Asante, Rampone, Sitch (Buczkowski 70); McCallum, Averbuch, Rosona (Parker 58), O’Reilly; Kai, White
Total Shots: 10 14
Shots on Goal: 4 6
Saves: 6 3
Fouls: 3 4
Corners: 2 5
Offsides: 3 2
Juan Carlos Rivero
Referee's Assistants: Miguel Panduro; Mark Boyd
4th official: Jerry Cova
time of game: 1:48
weather: cloudy, rainy, windy 78 degrees