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Beat Dominate Final 2010 Match, But Fall 1-0 To Freedom

September 11, 2010 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release

BOYDS, MD - The Atlanta Beat dominated their final match of the 2010 Women's Professional Soccer season, but fell 1-0 in a hard fought battle against the Washington Freedom at the Maryland SoccerPlex Saturday night. The Freedom's Abby Wambach finished the game winner in the 88th minute to send Washington into the 2010 WPS Playoffs.

"I gathered them up at the end of the game," said Atlanta Beat interim head coach James Galanis, "and I told them all to smile and to be proud of their effort today. We were the better team out there."

The Beat maintained a large part of the possession throughout the match as both sides earned quality chances on goal. Defense was strong on both ends of the field, plus each club saw a second half goal disallowed.

With both teams scoreless at the half, "We realized that we were playing better than the Freedom," said Galanis. "We spoke about coming out to do even better and not to take our foot off the pedal. We needed to keep going at them, keep holding them on defense, and keep pushing on offense."

On the Beat's closest scoring opportunity, a finished goal which was called back by head official Kari Seitz in the 59th minute, Atlanta Beat midfielder Aya Miyama sent a high, looping ball into the box from just over the midfield line. The ball dropped behind Atlanta Beat forward Lauren Sesselmann and two Washington Freedom defenders to find the back of the net, possibly untouched. The ruling on the field in still unclear as to whether a foul occurred in the box or whether the set piece was actually an indirect kick that no other player touched or deflected.

"(The Freedom) obviously wanted to win and they were playing direct football, but we shut them down," said Galanis. "We shut down all their attacks and I don't think Hope had to make any saves in the first half."

"We focused on possession and made sure that we were holding on to the ball. The girls executed very well" the coach continued. "From the possession we had in the first half, we started frustrating Washington and we definitely dominated."

The Beat picked up three yellow cards including two issued to Lauren Sesselmann, earning her a red card in the 75th minute.

"Unfortunately, Lauren Sesselmann got a red card, and we had to change formation to a 4-4-1," said Galanis. "The waves of attack continued to come. We also lost Tina Ellertson, so we had to reshuffle the backline. Rebecca Nolin came in and did a fantastic job of filling Tina's spot."

"In the second half, we probably controlled a good 60 percent of possession, and we even controlled possession when we went down to 10 players. As a whole, we were getting the ball and holding on to it for long periods of time, and they couldn't get the ball off of us."

The Beat played strong until the final whistle. " We were unlucky not to score," said Galanis, " and they were lucky to score."

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