Beat Earns Point In Four Straight Games
KENNESAW, GA (Aug. 1, 2010) - With a heat index of 105 degrees at kick-off, the Atlanta Beat and FC Gold Pride (Bay Area) battled to a scoreless tie at KSU Soccer Stadium Sunday night, earning the Atlanta Beat a point in a fourth consecutive game.
The Beat's defense kept reigning WPS Most Valuable Player Marta quiet during the match as the Pride forward earned only two off-target shots. The Pride defense also did well, contributing to four offsides calls against the Atlanta club and becoming the first team in five games to hold the Beat scoreless.
Beat forward, Ramona Bachmann, in her first appearance since returning from national duty with Switzerland, accounted for three of the Beat's six shots. Also returning from national team duty was English forward Eniola Aluko who had several runs into the box and tallied a near miss just over the far left corner. Following trend, Japanese international Mami Yamaguchi, who replaced Aluko in the second half, had a chance in the box but lost control on volley.
Throughout the game, the Beat played an attacking style offense looking for runs in behind the Pride defense and taking players on one v. one in the final third. The Pride played a more dilate possession game find short passes to feet and combining to create shots.
In goal for the Beat, goalkeeper Hope Solo came up with several big saves, stopping six out of the six shots on goal to preserve the shutout.
Sunday's match was a strong contrast from the last match against FC Gold Pride. In that match, a 1-5-3 Atlanta Beat fell 4-0 to league's best. After recent wins and increased confidence, the Atlanta club has now become the first team shutout the Bay Area club since the Pride's June 27 loss to Sky Blue FC.
The Beat face the Boston Breakers Wednesday, Aug. 4 before returning home to host 2009 WPS Champions, Sky Blue FC on Sunday, Aug. 7. For tickets call 678-298-4780.
Coach Gareth O'Sullivan
Did you think this would come out a nil-nil game?
"No. I certainly thought we could get something out of it. We had a couple of chances today to get some points. Hope was still quite busy at times as well. It's a shutout, so we're, temporarily anyway, off the bottom of the pick.
What did you do to neutralize Marta?
We matched her up with Kia for 60 minutes or so, where Kia played her man-for-man. We just asked Kia to be extremely disciplined and that she probably wouldn't touch the ball much today.
There were a lot of chances on both sides of the field, and unfortunately we weren't able to put one in but it's a good point. There's not too many people taking points off this team, so I'm glad we got a point and look forward to playing Boston on Wednesday.
What do you carry going into Wednesday?
It's important for us to build on this now. There was a lot of energy expelled today to get this result. I'm really proud of the girls and proud of the effort and we just got to focus on Boston on Wednesday and hopefully make it a 6 point game.
I think if we could have made five substitutions we would've. It was just a matter of heart for both sided in the second half; both teams played with a lot of heart.
Coach Albertin Montya
It is a little frustrating that we came out here and were given so many chances, especially in the second half... but that's how soccer goes. I actually think we played better this time around than when we won 4-0, but that's how we play the game. We took chances, but didn't put them away. In the second half they were very dangerous, plus we suffered some injuries
Hope Solo made some amazing saves. But good thing is that we created some chances and were dangerous and most importantly in our goal as a team, we kept a clean sheet. Sometimes you create those chances you get frustrated and then you lose focus with that and end up losing a game. But credit goes to our players; they were focused for 90 minutes.
The met Marta everywhere she went and they did an excellent job with her. I don't think Marta did that well in the books today, but it has happened in the past--Sinclair got several opportunities, Tiffeny Milbrett got opportunities, Kelly O'Hara. That's what's made us dangerous throughout the season. You can't just guard one player. Unfortunaly today none of those players got a ball in, but they did an outstanding job.
It was a good game plan. I think sitting a little deep and having Tina play a little off the back tonight worked for us. What defenders can help me do is making it visible and they cut back at a good angle where I could read the shot. I don't think they are given enough credit for that.
We stayed tight on her the whole time. We didn't play flat on a four-back. We had one on her and a three-back. It worked a lot better.
I think everybody knows we could have one. We had great opportunities to get in the back of the net, but our confidence is there. We're starting to click. It took a long time to get to this point, but we got some confidence and we keep chipping away at the standings one game at a time.
On next Wednesday's game
We have momentum for sure, but it comes so fast. Tomorrow is a recover day, then travel on Tuesday and we play on Wednesday. The awesome thing is that we have some great players on the bench.
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Women's Professional Soccer Stories from August 1, 2010
- Sky Blue FC Falls to Chicago, 2-1 - Sky Blue FC
- Chicago Red Stars Top N.J., 2-1, Move up to 4th Place in WPS - Chicago Red Stars
- Beat Earns Point In Four Straight Games - Atlanta Beat
- FC Gold Pride Extends Unbeated Streak to Six After Tying Atlanta - FC Gold Pride
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