FC Gold Pride plays Freedom to scoreless tie on Saturday Night
HAYWARD, CA (Aug. 14, 2010) - With a seven-game unbeaten streak on the line, the Pride took on the Washington Freedom on Saturday night at Pioneer Stadium. In front of an electric crowd of 3,328, the Pride played the Freedom to its third consecutive 0-0 tie in the fourth and final regular season match between the teams. The Pride came out strong in the first half hoping to end the team's frustrating scoring drought. The home team possessed the ball well throughout the first 45 minutes, finding themselves often with the ball in the Freedom's 18-yard box but couldn't get the ball into the back of the net.
"I told the team to make sure we stay positive because our performance tonight was very good," said Pride Head Coach Albertin Montoya. "We created a lot of chances and I thought we played good soccer. Defensively we've been very good by not allowing clear opportunities for other teams to score goals."
The Freedom came back to start the second half with a purpose, making the game interesting; but 15 minutes in, the Pride settled into the half, regaining composure and most of the possession. The Pride was not without opportunities, but was especially unlucky as Marta found herself with a great opportunity in the 75th minute, firing a left footed shot off the lower half of the cross bar. The Pride would press the Freedom, playing on the Washington's defensive half for the majority of the final 15 minutes of the match. Christine Sinclair, Marta and Kelley O'Hara all had multiple shots on goal, but came up empty as the game ended in a scoreless tie.
"Goals are going to come," said Pride Midfielder Shannon Boxx. "If we weren't creating I would be worried but we're creating chances, we're hitting posts, we're taking shots, but as long as we continue to play well in every other aspect, then goals will come. "
Lately, the Pride's highly regarded offense has been met with some tough opposition, and has been shut out of its last three contests; The Pride has now played 271 minutes without scoring a goal. Despite the disappointing result of Saturday's match, the Pride maintains its stronghold on first place, adding a point to its league-leading point total; and with 40 points, have a nine-point advantage over the trailing, second-place Philadelphia Independence who are in action on Sunday.
With Saturday's result, the Pride extends its unbeaten streak to eight games. The Pride's league leading defense has now shut out its last three opponents, holding opposing teams to an impressive 0.74 goals against average.
"Goals come and go and the point that we're trying to make on this team is that we're defending great," said added Boxx. "We've got three shutouts in a row and that's huge because in the end defense wins games. When we know we've got a good defense behind us, we can take those chances of going forward and maybe push another midfielder to try to get that goal."
The Pride will take their unbeaten streak on the road for two games before returning home for two to close out the regular season. Next weekend the Pride will face the Chicago Red Stars at Toyota Park on Sunday, August 22 at 3 pm PT. The Pride's last visit of the season to the Windy City could be a meaningful one, as the team sits on the doorstep of clinching the team's first-ever WPS Regular Season Championship. The match will be featured as the WPS Game of the Week and will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel.
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