Beat's Second Half Surge Falls Shy in Home Loss
KENNESAW, GA - The Atlanta Beat (1-7-2) of Women's Professional Soccer battled to a 3-2 loss Saturday night at KSU Soccer Stadium in their third match against magicJack with Beat finishes by Meghan Lenczyk and Kacey White and magicJack scores by Ella Masar, Christen Press, and Johanna Rasmussen.
After an hour weather delay, the Beat came out with two early runs sending their wide players in the attack before magicJack matched that pace in the third minute. Midfielder Sarah Huffman sent a driven ball into target, Nikki Washington. Washington played a ball into the left side of the box for Johanna Rasmussen who delivered a square ball across the six yard box to Masar for the first goal of the match.
The home team regained their momentum and continued to find dangerous scoring opportunities. The Beat capitalized in the 20th minute when midfielder Kylie Wright wall-passed herself open and played a chipped ball over the top for Meghan Lenczyk. Lenczyk popped the ball up on her first touch and struck a right-footed volley to equalize the score.
It looked to be a one goal tie heading into the half, but magicJack's Nikki Washington served a cross in from the right flank for Christen Press. Press gave the visitors the advantage when she connected on a header near the penalty spot for a finish in stoppage time.
The visitors scored another quick goal when magicJack's Rasmussen nodded in another Washington cross to make it 3-1 in the 47th.
Despite a two goal deficit, the resilient Beat were determined to fight back for their hometown crowd. After several strong attacking sequences, Beat newcomer Kacey White scored with high-lofted ball from distance. The play developed on magicJack's attempt build out of the back. Beat midfielder Megan Jesolva challenged the opposing left back on a slide tackle and poked the ball square to White. White struck a first-time ball from 25 yards out over the exposed magicJack defense.
The second half continued to be a crowd pleaser as both teams fought to find another goal with play becoming more and more physical. Beat midfielder Wright saw the only yellow card of the match.
Although the scoreline fell just short of an even result, it was still a much improved performance by the young Beat side. Major positives included the Beat's first goals against magicJack this season and their confident combination play through the midfield to create dangerous scoring opportunities on the final pass.
The Beat play at home again next weekend on Sunday, June 19 for a Father's Day match up against the Boston Breakers. The game begins at 6:00 p.m. at the KSU Soccer Stadium. Call 678-298-4780 for tickets or visit www.TheAtlantaBeat.com
ATLANTA BEAT HEAD COACH JAMES GALANIS
Overall thoughts on the match
The girls are shattered so to speak, but it's a lot better than we have been playing. Last week we possessed the ball well and created chances. The goal for today was to create chances, and I think we did that. We looked more dangerous up top. If we take away the early goals in the first and second half, we would have won the game. Overall, it was a lot better than previous weeks. At the end of the day, we just have to keep taking steps to get better on a weekly basis.
On Kacey White joining the team
She did great. She came in nervous not knowing what to do, and I told her to just play.
She's a smart girl and I'm happy she got that goal. We had her out wide and in the midfield tonight, and she did great in both positions.
On Megan Jesolva's performance
I'm very proud of Jesolva. She's a rookie, she's undrafted; she's fearless. She doesn't care who she's up against. I talk to her in individual meetings all the time, and I just tell her to keep going and she does that. She works very hard. She's one of our best players right now.
ATLANTA BEAT MIDFIELDER KACEY WHITE
Thoughts on scoring in her first Beat appearance
I was very happy to get a goal, but you know it wasn't complete without the win. You know that's what's important and you know that's what I can hopefully bring to the Atlanta Beat. Unfortunately, we didn't get it today, but we look forward to getting it next week
Thoughts on defense:
We can point out a lot of different things that happened leading up to the goal, and we just need to tighten up and work on those things.
Strengths and weaknesses of the team
I'm really happy with the team. I'm really excited to be here. We have a lot of hard workers out there, and we're just trying to play a specific game. I think we wanted to move forward and get the goal to tie it up, but I think we lost our rhythm at times. We will continue to work on that, and I am happy with today because we were able to produce some dangerous attacks. The team really wants to work and learn, and that's the framework. That's what's most important.
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Women's Professional Soccer Stories from June 12, 2011
- Sky Blue FC Unbeaten Streak Extended to Four Games - Sky Blue FC
- Beat's Second Half Surge Falls Shy in Home Loss - Atlanta Beat
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