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FC Gold Pride Defeats Atlanta Beat 4-0, Sets New WPS Record

July 3, 2010 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - FC Gold Pride News Release

FC Gold Pride (8-3-1) closed out its week-long stay in Atlanta by defeating the Beat (1-6-3), 4-0 on Saturday night. The four-goal effort marks the highest scoring game the Pride has earned in franchise history. With the victory, the Bay Area team retains its place atop the WPS regular season standings with 25 points.

"The team played very well today," said FC Gold Pride Head Coach, Albertin Montoya. "We played with a new system and maybe that threw the Beat off a bit. We have been working very hard on playing in the new formation and we did really well with it. In the second half, we really gained control of the game and shifted our system again; the change opened up even more opportunities for us. Overall, this was an outstanding performance by our team."

Christine Sinclair, assisted by WPS All-Star Captain, Marta, wasted no time on the attack, getting her team on the board in the opening minute of the match. This stunning first-minute goal sets a new record for fastest goal scored in WPS history.

Marta added to her offensive statistics in the match as she put away her seventh goal of the season inthe 30th minute of play, giving her team a 2-0 advantage.

Atlanta's Kia McNeill was ejected from the match in the 34th minute after committing an illegal challenge against Pride goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart. Barnhart, shaken up on the play, remained in the match and would ultimately earn her fourth clean sheet of the season.

"I came out for the ball and I didn't really see her coming" said Barnhart of the collision. "But she did come in cleats up and got me pretty good. It hurt when it happened but I'll be ok. At that point in the game, they were down and trying to do what they could to get a goal, I think she just got caught in the moment and came in really hard. My left arm and chest will be bruised and sore for sure, I'm going to take a couple days off and it'll be fine."

The Pride moved forward with a clear cut advantage and continued to press the Beat, now down a field player, through the final 56 minutes of the match.

Reigning WPS MVP Marta would strike again in the second half, notching her third multi-goal game of the season in the 87th minute. Pride Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart with a long service to the Pride's front line was credited with the assist, the first offensive stat of her professional career. Marta's two goals in the match reestablished her position as the league's leader in goals scored with eight.

"I saw Marta starting to go and the defense was a little bit high," said Barnhart "I saw the opportunity developing but wasn't sure if the ball would get through; we got a good bounce and Marta was able to get in behind the defense and get the goal."

The scoring wouldn't stop there as Georgia native Kelley O'Hara entertained her hometown fans by adding to the Pride's final tally, netting the team's fourth goal of the game in stoppage time (91st minute).

With half of the regular season in the books, the Pride will now head back home to prepare for two-consecutive games at Pioneer Stadium. Abby Wambach and the fourth place Washington Freedom will return to the Bay Area to open the second half of the season on Sunday, July 11. The match, scheduled to kickoff at 3 PM will be featured as the WPS Sunday Game of the Week and will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel.

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