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Beat Earn Point on The Road

June 5, 2011 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release


CHESTER, PA - The Atlanta Beat (1-6-2) of Women's Professional Soccer earned a point on the road Saturday night with a scoreless tie against the Philadelphia Independence (2-2-3) at Widener University.

Atlanta Beat goalkeeper Allison Whitworth made her first start since the season opener and came up with a huge first half. Not only did she save a strong shot from Philly's Tasha Kai in the ninth minute, but she also saved Lianne Sanderson's rocket in the 12th and penalty kick in the 45th.

"I was really excited to play," said the goalkeeper. "The backline really put confidence in me before the game saying, ‘You'll be great; just stay relaxed,' and I had a lot of confidence in them. It was just easy for us to play and to get excited as a team."

Offensively in the first half, Beat forward Meghan Lenczyk got a shot off in the third minute from 12 yards out and again in the 13th minute from the corner of the six yard box.

"We did well. We improved a lot from last week," said Beat head coach James Galanis. " Like I said, ‘we played well last week and we came into this game with a couple of goals.' Our goals were for each individual to play up to her potential and for us collectively as a team to improve our play on the field.'"

In the final moments of the first half, a ball served in behind the Beat's backline posed a defensive scare when it resulted in a penalty kick. The ball came in, and Atlanta's goalkeeper blocked a shot. As the ball was bouncing away, "I dove and tried to hit the ball wide of the goal near the goal line," said Whitworth, but Independence forward Sinead Farrelly went down on the play. "I feel like I got the ball, but I was ready to defend the penalty."

On the penalty kick, Philadelphia's Sanderson struck a low, driven ball to the bottom left corner, and Whitworth read it perfectly to make the diving save. " Don't lean. She's not going to kill it," is what Whitworth had going through her mind. "She put it kind of close to me, and I was able to get down to it. All I was thinking was, ‘This is not going to go in. She's not going to score on me. Then they called the half and I was able to recoup a little.'"

At the start of the second half, the Beat came out fighting to match the Independence momentum. "After that we calmed down," said Galanis, " we played really well. We played better in the second half than we did in the first. We were able to settle down and play really crafty soccer."

A physical second half produced two yellow cards with one issued to the Beat's Kylie Wright and the other to Philadelphia's Sanderson.

"We did a lot of good things last week, and we want to keep improving. This week, we improved mentally," said Galanis.

"We are exited to come home and play in front of our fans. We look forward to playing good soccer and to getting some positive results in the next two games that will help us with our confidence and in the standings as well."

The Beat return home to KSU Soccer Stadium on Saturday, June 11 as they host magicJack for the first time this season. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. Call 678-298-4780 for tickets or visit www.TheAtlantaBeat.com.

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