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Athletica give Independence first loss

Without Caroline Seger in the midfield due to a calf injury, the Philadelphia Independence suffered their first loss of the season against St. Louis Athletica, 2-1.

St. Louis scored their first in the 42nd minute off of an own goal when a shot that deflected off of Allison Falk couldn’t be stopped by Karina LeBlanc.

The second St. Louis goal came in the 60th minute from Lindsey Tarpley. This was her first start of the season after a long recovery from an ACL injury.

The Independence fought back fiercely. Three minutes after being subbed into the game, Lyndsey Patterson collected a rebound from a shot by Amy Rodriguez and put it past Athletica keeper Hope Solo in the 75th minute.

Both teams battled in the closing minutes, which saw yellow cards being awarded to Athletica’s Shannon Boxx and Lori Lindsey of the Independence.

Independence coach Paul Riley said after the match, “We simply didn’t play well.”

Riley told reporters, “We gave up two horrific goals.The first one was just unlucky, and the second one was poor goalkeeping to be perfectly honest with you. [LeBlanc] was very slow moving across the box (for Tarpley’s shot). I mean they’ve got to come up with a couple saves a game, don’t they? But St. Louis was the better team tonight and they deserved to win.”

Seger’s absence – she had played every minute of the Independence’s first four games – was significant.

“We especially didn’t have any rhythm in the midfield” Riley said. “You don’t want to make excuses, but we really missed her.”

The Independence are now 2-1-2 and in fourth place in the WPS. They face Chicago Red Stars and Washington Freedom before returning home to host Sky Blue FC.

Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Independence.

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