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Beat Faces No. 1

July 30, 2010 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release


KENNESAW, GA (July 30, 2010) - Following Wednesday's 3-2 result against the Washington Freedom, the Atlanta Beat are on a three game win streak and are seeking their first victory against the league's best, FC Gold Pride (Bay Area), at 5:00 P.M. ET Sunday, Aug. 1 at KSU Soccer Stadium.

"We are looking for a strong performance against FC Gold Pride as we were not happy with the scoreline from early July," said Beat head coach Gareth O'Sullivan.

When the Beat hosted the Bay Area on July 3, the Pride's Christine Sinclair scored in the opening goal in the first minute before Marta scored goals in both the first and second halves. Atlanta Beat defender Kia McNeill left the game early with a red card and centerback Tina Ellertson sustained a head injury after colliding with Tiffeny Millbrett.

"I felt like we were pulling from behind, and we were getting opportunities," said O'Sullivan following the match. "When were playing the ball to feet, it led to those opportunities.

Since that 4-0 loss, the Beat have found a new stride and are in high spirits. The win streak began Sunday, July 18 when the Beat upset Sky Blue FC 1-0 in Piscataway, N.J. English forward Eniola Aluko finished the game winner just seven minutes into the match to seal the Beat's first road victory of the season.

Following that match, O'Sullivan said, "We thought we would turn the corner sometime soon, and we did. These are only baby steps."

One baby step led to another as the Atlanta Beat faced the Chicago Red Stars in a fourth and final meeting Wednesday, July 21 at KSU Soccer Stadium. Aluko, in the 56th minute, once again scored the lone goal propelling the Beat to a 1-0 victory. Aluko's goal was the first, second half game-winner of the season and marked the fourth consecutive game with a single Atlanta Beat goal.

The Beat, then with back to back wins in tow, hosted the Washington Freedom on Wednesday, July 28. The Freedom entered the match with a two game advantage in previous games against the Beat but fell 3-2 thanks in large part to the defensive efforts of Stacy Bishop and breakout scoring from Monica Ocampo. Ocampo finished the last two of three Atlanta Beat goals, scoring the game winner in the 88th minute.

With sights set on a fourth in a row, the Beat will again face their toughest opposition, FC Gold Pride with the 4-time FIFA World Player of the Year, Marta. On paper the Pride leads in nearly every statistical category, and they went undefeated during the entire month of July. With five consecutive wins and 30 goals in 16 games played, the Pride will meet a different Atlanta Beat on Sunday, Aug. 1.

Kickoff is at 5:00 P.M. at KSU Soccer Stadium. Call 678-298-4780 for tickets or visit www.TheAtlantaBeat.com.

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