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Allie Long Leads Washington Freedom Past Chicago Red Stars, 3-2

July 26, 2009 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - magicJack News Release

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - Abby Wambach scored the first two goals of the game for the Washington Freedom but it was Allie Long's goal in the 89th minutes that provided the Freedom with a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Red Stars in a game played Sunday afternoon at TOYOTA PARK.

"It was nice to have our perseverance rewarded with a win," said Washington Freedom head coach Jim Gabarra. "It started against Sky Blue when we kept at it and came away with a draw, and then last week got the win over St. Louis."

Long, a midfielder entered into the game in the 74th minute for Alex Singer and scored the winning goal after she weaved through two Chicago defenders before firing a shot to the left side. It was Long's second of the season.

Wambach's first goal was set up by Sonia Bompastor. After getting the ball Wambach got past her defender, and with her right foot put it into the near post in the 35th minute. Her second goal came off of a Lisa De Vanna feed. Wambach scored the goal in the 56th minute with the goal coming off of her left foot.

Chicago's Megan Rapinoe got the scoring going in the game when she took a Carli Lloyd pass and beat Freedom goalie Erin McLeod to the right corner of the net. Karen Carney tied things up when she scored Chicago's second goal of the game in the 69th minute. Heather Garriock initiated the goal when she found Carney open on the right side of the net.

Defensively the Freedom was led by Becky Sauerbrunn, who according to Gabarra has been outstanding all year, and Cat Whitehill and McLeod both of whom returned from national team duty. They allowed Chicago just four shots on goal with just one coming in the final 45 minutes of action.

McLeod faced four shots on goal and notched two saves (15 shots taken by Chicago) while

Red Stars goalie Caroline Jonsson picked up 11 saves on 24 total shots (14 on goal).

"I told our team before the game today that we couldn't ask to be in a better position because we control our own playoff destiny and do not have to rely on other teams to help us," said Gabarra. "This might be our toughest stretch all year with three games in three cities in a week but we responded today on the road against a team that desperately needed a win."

The Freedom has a record of 6-6-5 and in fourth place (23 points) in the WPS standings with Sky Blue, but they do have one game in hand and hold a tiebreaking over both Sky Blue and St. Louis. The Red Stars fall to fifth at 4-9-5 (17 points).

In a game with huge playoff implications the Freedom will be back in action this Wednesday, July 29 when they host the Boston Breakers in a 7:00 p.m. start at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Boston is 7-6-4 (25 points).

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