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Philadelphia Independence 3-1 Florida

Photo: Michael Long

The Independence downed Florida for the second consecutive week at Quick Stadium on the campus of Widener University. Philadelphia dominated the game much like they did last week, but unlike last week, their finishing could be described as sub par as they only found the net three times compared to six last week. Tasha Kai, Kia McNeill and Veronica Boquete were all on target for the Independence while Christen Press found a consolation goal for Florida.

Paul Riley only made one change to the line up that dismantled Florida last week, with birthday girl Joanna Lohman replacing Sinead Farrelly, who apparently picked up a bit of knock in training over the week. Florida, after releasing two players last week, was only able to field two substitutes and no back up goalkeeper (their first and second choice keepers are away with the USWNT and third choice Brett Maron was sent off last week).

Lohman had one of the better chances in the early going from a well taken Danesha Adams corner kick, but her header was just wide on 25 minutes. McNeill would open the scoring shortly thereafter though, scoring her first career WPS goal. After another quality corner kick from Adams was cleared by Florida, the ball found its way back to Adams on the right side. She threw in another cross that bounced once in the box before finding McNeill on the far post unmarked and the physical center back was able to bundle the ball across the line.

McNeill said afterward “Danesha whipped in a good ball, and I knew if I just stayed on the far post I’d have a chance, and it went through everyone and I just tried to hit it on goal.”

The ever impressive Veronica Boquete would double the lead five minutes later. After some good work by Christina DiMartino on the right side, she found a streaking late run by the offensive minded midfielder through the center of the park, behind the Florida defense. DiMartino played a great ball into space and Boquete took two neat touches before coolly finishing to the short side of Shannon Myers net.

The second half found Philadelphia continuing to be in the ascendancy. Shortly after an early penalty shout for Kai was denied by the referee, the industrious forward found the net for her fourth goal of the season. After Lohman was able to weave her way to the byline near the right corner, her cross evaded everyone and found Kai unmarked at the back post where she made no mistake heading the ball into the lower corner. A terrific cross from Lohman and a great header from Kai for sure, but Florida will feel their marking could have been better.

Christen Press made things interesting in the 56th minute when a defensive mix up between McNeill, fellow center back Nikki Krzysik and goalkeeper Val Henderson afforded a rare sniff at goal for Florida. Press took her chance well and finished high into Henderson’s net, but the goal did nothing to buoy the tired legs of the Florida team.

Laura Del Rio and Lianne Sanderson could both have scored coming off the bench, but had their chances denied by Myers and the woodwork respectively. Del Rio was the recipient of a sublime 40 yard through ball from Boquete, but even being clear through on goal, the Spaniard could not beat the onrushing Myers who did well to stifle the shot with her legs. Sanderson found room on the left edge of the Florida box for her shot on 73 minutes, only to have Myers get her fingertips to it and deflect it off the far post.

The 3-1 result is a bit flattering to the visitors who looked tired and disorganized throughout the match, and Philadelphia will rue their finishing from keeping the game from being another blow out. The crowd looked to be the smallest of the season for the Independence on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, playing shortly before the Union and the Gold Cup Final. But those that were in attendance were treated to some creative chants at Florida owner/pseudo coach Dan Borislow including “Where’s the website?” referring to the lack of an online presence for the team from Florida. “Hire a real coach” also echoed through the crowd a few times as did the popular “We’re gunna score 7” in reference to last week’s blowout.

Paul Riley Quote of the Week:

Vero (Veronica Boquete) came three weeks ago and since then we look a different team…She just brings that little bit of creativity and individualism with the ball…If you look at the change in us the last month, it comes back to her. She’s brought out the best in Danesha Adams, Lianne Sanderson, Tasha Kai. I said to the forwards, you’re gunna get a lot of goals because this midfield is going to give you chances.”

Independence – Val Henderson, Leigh Ann Robinson, Nikki Krzysik, Kia McNeill, Estelle Johnson, Jen Buczkowski, Christina DiMartino, Joanna Lohman (Lianne Sanderson 71′), Veronica Boquete, Tasha Kai (Laura del Rio 64′), Danesha Adams (Holmfridur Magnusdottir 77′)

Florida – Shannon Myers, Marian Dalmy (Johanna Rasmussen 66′), Tina Ellertson, Lydia Vandenbergh, Nikki Marshall, Omolyn Davis, Sarah Huffman, Amanda DaCosta (Ashleigh Gunning 46′), Nikki Washington, Christen Press, Ella Masar

Player Ratings:

Val Henderson – 7

Not a lot of work again for the goalkeeper and was involved in the mix up leading to the Florida goal. But organized her defense well and kept chances at a minimum.

Leigh Ann Robinson – 7

For the second straight week took the chance to get more involved in the offense with Florida showing little attack. Had some decent link ups with the midfield as well as some off target shots from distance.

Nikki Kryzik – 8

Cool and calm in the back. Keeps things organized and makes sure everyone is marked on the opposition. Cleans up and distributes very well.

Kia McNeill – 9

First career goal for the center back was her just reward. Dominant again in the air and physical with anyone trying to play through her.

Estelle Johnson – 7

Solid if not unspectacular at outside back again. Took a few forays forward with little to show for it, but was responsible defensively all match.

Jen Buczkowski – 9

I think I’ve given her a 9 every week, and she’s deserved it every time. Stalwart stuff cleaning up in the center of the park and allowing the rest of the midfield to concentrate on the creative end of things.

Christina DiMartino – 8

More involved than last week. Did well to dribble at the Florida back line and had a great assist on the Boquete goal.

Joanna Lohman – 8

Quality stuff from the midfielder taking advantage of a rare start this season. Some good service from the wing especially to assist on Kai’s goal.

Veronica Boquete – 9

Was quality throughout the match making darting runs and running through defenders with the ball. Showed moments of shear brilliance on the ball with cheeky moves and quick feet and scored a fantastic goal. Couldn’t ask for more from her.

Tasha Kai – 8

Chased lost causes and pestered the Florida back line all day and was rightfully rewarded with a good goal in the second half. Also had two decent penalty shouts, one in each half.

Danesha Adams – 8

Last week was the finisher, this week turned provider. Flung in quality dead balls all match, particularly from corners and her assist to McNeill was one of those fantastic balls.

Subs

Lianne Sanderson – 7

Brought into run at tired Florida legs in the second half and did exactly that. Unlucky not to score with a well taken shot in the 73rd.

Laura Del Rio – 5

Made great runs and found herself in good spaces as usual. But unfortunately could not apply the finish to some good chances, most notably the delicious pass from Boquete in the 71st.

Homfridur Magnusdottir – n/a

One Comment

  1. thanks again, mike. the schedule for them this year is completely at odds with mine but it’s nice to be able to keep up. wish i could get out to some games though.

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