Beat Play Strong First Half, Fall 1-0 In Philly
Philadelphia (July 31, 2011) - The Atlanta beat (1-11-4) of Women's Professional Soccer opened play with a controlled first half but fell 1-0 to the Philadelphia Independence (10-3-3) when Veronica Boquete scored in the 62nd minute at Leslie C. Quick Stadium on the campus of Widener University Sunday night.
The "See Extraordinary Heroes" match began with a welcome home ceremony to honor WPS players who competed in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, and it brought in the second largest crowd (4,162 fans) in Independence franchise history. The record crowd, included soccer dignitaries Atlanta Beat owner, T. Fitz Johnson and the Philadelphia Union's Sebastien Le Toux, Gabriel Farfan and Kyle Nakazawa among others. The six players honored were Atlanta's Heather Mitts (USA), Carli Lloyd (USA), and Kelly Parker (Canada) along with Philadelphia's Amy Rodriguez (USA), Nicole Barnhart (USA), and Lori Lindsey (USA).
The Independence opened the first two minutes of the match in the Atlanta's defensive third, but Beat captain Lori Chalupny took over the match to create several dangerous opportunities on the offensive end. Chalupny sent two great balls into Kelly Parker with one in the sixth minute and another in the seventh. Chalupny the took a shot of her own in the eighth minute.
Unable to finish these three close scoring opportunities, the Beat went into the halftime tied 0-0 with the Independence.
The second half saw Philadelphia retake the momentum when Independence forward Veronica Boquete scored in the 62nd minute. After the initial strike deflected off Beat goalkeeper Allison Whitworth, Boquete followed the rebound and found the back of the net.
With the result, Philadelphia collected three points and ensured at least a second place regular season WPS finish. The Independence win also set the stage for a end-of-season race for first place between the Independence and Western NY Flash. If Philly wins the WPS Regular Season Championship, it will host the WPS Championship match at PPL Park (home of the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer ) on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 4PM. If the Independence finishes second in WPS standings the team will host the WPS Super Semifinal at PPL Parkon Saturday, Aug. 20 at 4PM. The Beat will not make the 2011 WPS playoffs.
The Atlanta Beat return home on Saturday, Aug. 6 to host Alex Morgan, Marta and the Western New York Flash at KSU Soccer Stadium. Tickets to the match are still available by calling (678) 298-4780 or visiting www.TheAtlantaBeat.com.
ATLANTA BEAT HEAD COACH JAMES GALANIS
On the first half
We possessed the ball really well. We dominated and controlled most of the first half. We had some really good opportunities that we failed to capitalize on, but that's been the story of our season. It was a very productive first half, and I was very happy with the way they were playing.
On the match overall
The results aren't what we want, but we are doing well. We have to remain positive and reward the highlights.
On Kelly Parker's early runs up top
Kelly made intelligent runs to get in behind the defense; but, unfortunately, the shooting was poor in those two situations. (Lori Chalupny) got in behind the defense as well, and she went one on one with (Philadelphia goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart) who just came up with a world-class save to keep them in it. If we would have scored on one of those chances, maybe the game would have been different. Those were definitely chances that we should have put away.
Overall on defense:
The defense defended well. They did well to anticipate Philly's attack. Their distribution wasn't as good as it has been in previous weeks because it wasn't as crisp and efficient.
On the second half
We started off with a lot of energy and were stuck on our heels in the first 10 minutes. We started clawing our way back in with a lot of nice sequences of possession. We got more desperate as the game went progressed. We wanted to reward ourselves with the attacks we've been generating.
On the goal
On a counterattack, we miscommunicated out of the back and conceded a goal. We changed the game defensively, but we just weren't able to put away any of our chances. Overall, the question is: "Are we improving as a team and as individuals - The answer is definitely.
We played against a team that has a chance to win it all, and in comparing us with them, we controlled more of the game than they did.
Preparation for back to back games against the Western New York Flash
We move forward with this year's plan to continue developing the team for the future. Next year, we come back and the future is very bright. We have done a lot to develop a lot of young talent. The focus before Western New York is to play better than we did tonight. The ladies know that they did well, but they know that they could have done better. We are going to set up a strategic plan in order to be effective against Western New York, and we are going to work tactically to develop a game plan that will work well. I think everyone on the field knows that her goal is to be better than she was tonight, so we have to look forward to that next week.
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Women's Professional Soccer Stories from August 1, 2011
- Flash Return Home to Face the Breakers Wednesday Night - Western New York Flash
- Beat Play Strong First Half, Fall 1-0 In Philly - Atlanta Beat
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