Athletica Move Into Second Place With Win In Boston
(Silverman | isiphotos.net)
CAMBRIDGE, MASS (June 14, 2009) – Saint Louis Athletica continued their hot streak with a 1-0 win Sunday night over the Boston Breakers at Harvard Stadium. The win was the fourth in the last five games for Saint Louis and moved them into sole possession of second place in the WPS standing with 14 points.
Athletica took the lead in the 43rd minute when Eniola Aluko struck for the third time this season. Aluko split open the Boston defense with her run and calmly finished her chance beating Kristen Luckenbill. Kendall Fletcher provided the perfectly weighted ball right down the center channel for Aluko to use her pace and get onto the end of. Aluko has now had a hand in all four of Athletica’s last four goals.
“Absolutely brilliant ball from Kendall Fletcher,” said Aluko. “She put me right in to the channel and I just knew I had to finish. Thankfully it went through the goalkeeper’s legs and we got the win away from home. Now its onwards and upwards.”
The goal just before the half atoned for a disallowed goal that Amanda Cinalli had struck in the 17th minute. Cinalli reached the end of a cross in the six-yard box and cleanly finished only to be judged offside by the linesman.
Boston had one quality chance in the first half but Kelly Smith failed to connect with a ball that found her alone at the six-yard box straight in front of Hope Solo. Smith’s volleyed touch took the ball high and wide of the net.
The second half saw Boston generate some chances and Athletica dealt with all of them. Hope Solo made four saves but none of them challenged her seriously. Unlike last week against Sky Blue FC Athletica did not face an onslaught of chances from the Breakers in the second half and brought home the victory and a crucial three points.
“Every game in this league is so important and three points moves you up and down in the standings a whole lot,” said Lori Chalupny. “This was a really important game for us. Coming back here to Boston and winning after we lost here early in the season is huge. We felt like wed didn’t play well that game and it was good to put together a good 90 minute performance here.”
“We always believed we could move up in the standings,” said head coach Jorge Barcellos. “It is very good for us right now and our supporters in St. Louis to be on this stretch of winning play.”
Next up for Saint Louis Athletica is the team they leapfrogged in the standings. The Washington Freedom will visit the Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park on Saturday June 20 for a 1:00 kick-off. Wednesday June 24 will see the league leading Los Angeles Sol visit Saint Louis for the first time this year in a potential WPS 1 vs. 2 matchup of league leaders.
Saint Louis Athletica (4-3-2) at Boston Breakers (3-4-2)
June 14, 2009 – Harvard Stadium, Cambridge, Massachusetts
43rd minute Eniola Aluko (3) – assisted by Kendall Fletcher (2)
STL: Solo; Logterman, Ellertson, McNeill, Weber; Fletcher, Cinalli, Woznuk, Chalupny (Larsson 75); Aluko, Welsh (Pistorius 89)
BOS: Luckenbill; Mitts, Chapman, LePeilbet, Scott; Hucles, Lilly, Smith; Nobis (Tomecka 67), Rodriguez, Schmedes (Moore 71)
28th minute Kelly Smith Yellow Card Unsporting behavior
35th minute Jennifer Nobis Yellow Card Unsporting behavior
Total Shots: 7 17
Shots on Goal: 2 4
Saves: 4 1
Fouls: 4 8
Corners: 1 8
Offsides: 5 1
Referee: Daniel Fitzgerald
Referee's Assistants: Amy Willing, Jan Halaska
4th official: Daniel Hristov
time of game: 1:49
weather: cloudy, cool, 61 degrees