Athletica Come Back to Draw Sky Blue FC 2-2
ST. LOUIS, MO (May 16, 2010) - Saint Louis Athletica slugged it off with defending WPS Champions Sky Blue FC on Sunday afternoon at The Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in front of 2,346 fans who were not deterred by the bad weather forecast and ominous threats of rain. The back and forth game ended in a 2-2 draw with Athletica being forced to make a desperate comeback.
Eniola Aluko and Shannon Boxx hooked up for the third time this year to pull Athletica back level late in the second half. Boxx won a ball in midfield and quickly played Aluko through into space. Aluko was able to beat her England teammate Karen Bardsley with her right-footed shot. The goal was Aluko's fourth of the year, and the assist was Boxx's third. The goal completed what had been brisk second half filled with scoring chances each way.
Sky Blue FC came back from a 1-0 deficit at halftime to reclaim the game with two quick goals in the span of just five minutes, both coming from midfielder Laura Kalmari. The first came in the 57th minute as Kiersten Dallstream got forward into the left side of the Athletica penalty area. Dallstream created some space for herself and delivered a short cross to the head of Kalmari who slotted her chance home. Four minutes later Kalmari found herself unmarked in the penalty area with Heather O'Reilly on the left wing. O'Reilly delivered a perfect cross that Kalmari side-footed home to give Sky Blue their first lead of the day. O'Reilly was able to get the cross over after defender Tina Ellertson slipped down in front of her.
Saint Louis got off to a quick first half start on a soggy field as they established an early attack. Brazilian defender Elaine made a run up the right wing that took her into the penalty area, and as she turned near the byline Yael Averbuch made an attempted tackle that saw none of the ball. Referee Margaret Domka immediately awarded the penalty, and Shannon Boxx converted the spot kick comfortably.
Both teams had clear scoring chances throughout the first half. Athletica developed more of theirs but were unable to find the back of the net. Saint Louis best sequence of attacking play came in the 32nd minute when Chalupny played a ball to Boxx who found Tarpley who laid it off for Aluko. Aluko's shot sailed high and wide.
Athletica started the second half with clear intent to kill off the game. Lori Chalupny popped up with a 52nd minute chance off a turnover in midfield. Chalupny single handedly stole a pass and then charged Bardsley's goal before her shot found the outside of the post.
Athletica will be back in action in two weeks time on May 29 when they make their first visit to Atlanta for a 6:00 kick-off against the Beat at the new KSU Stadium. Athletica's next home game at The Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park will be on Wednesday June 9 when they host Marta and FC Gold Pride. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 1-888-STL-GOAL, or by visiting www.saintlouisathletica.com.
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Women's Professional Soccer Stories from May 16, 2010
- Kalmari Buries a Pair in a 2-2 Draw - Sky Blue FC
- Athletica Come Back to Draw Sky Blue FC 2-2 - St. Louis Athletica
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