Independence / Indy match reports

Independence end road trip with a loss

In the third game of the 2010 WPS season, Philadelphia Independence defeated Washington Freedom 3-1 to record their first victory.

On Sunday, the Independence finished a three game road trip with a 2-1 loss to the Freedom.

Amy Rodriguez got the first chance for the Independence in the 7th minute but her shot was easily handled by  Freedom’s keeper Erin McLeod. A minute later a Rodriguez pass to Joanna Lohman whose shot forced McLeod to make a diving save.

Washington soon responded in the 11th minute when Abby Wambach volleyed shot trickled just wide of the net. The Independence continued to have chances, including another Rodriguez shot off of a through ball from Lori Lindsey and a left-footed volley from Holmfridur Magnusdottir that resulted from a corner kick.

The Freedom went up 1-0 in the 24th minute when Rebecca Moros buried a shot into the far corner past Val Henderson after Christie Welsh’s pass beat the Independence defense. A late foul by Independence defender Sara Larsson gave the Freedom a penalty kick in the 34th minute which was promptly converted by Wambach.

The Independence started the second half with some substitutions in an attempt to stretch the field. But the Freedom were happy to concede possession with the Independence creating few serious chances.

The substitution of Lianne Sanderson for Heather Mitts in the 67th minute finally showed a real desire to push forward but the substitution would not prove significant until the 90th minute. Before that, Caroline Seger was sent off in the 87th minute for violent conduct after pushing Sarah Huffman in the face. Seger explained after the match, “I hit her in the face because she was pulling my pants and I wanted to get her off me.” Seger will now miss the next match.

Despite being one player short, Allison Falk’s cross in the 90th minute skipped past McLeod to a charging Sanderson who knocked the ball in at the far post.

Stoppage time was frenetic but two saves by Henderson to keep the Independence hopes alive were not rewarded by a goal at the other end of the field.

Independence coach Paul Riley thought his team had played well despite the loss, saying, “I thought we played great soccer, we possessed the ball, and if we converted some first-half chances, it could have been a different story.”

The Independence returns home after posting their first loss of the season on May 8 against the now defunct St. Louis Athletica and defeating Chicago Red Stars 1-0 for their first road win on May 15 before the international break. They face fourth place Sky Blue FC on Sunday, June 6 at 6pm John A Farrell Stadium in West Chester. The Independence are now in third place, two points behind Washington Freedom and ahead of Sky Blue FC on goal difference.

Photo by Robyn McNeil, courtesy of Philadelphia Independence

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