First place Pride extends unbeaten streak to seven after tying Chicago 0-0
Hayward, CA - FC Gold Pride, who needed a win to clinch a home game in the playoffs will have to postpone their celebration till next week after tying the Chicago Red Stars 0-0 on Saturday night at Pioneer Stadium. With their 12-3-3 record, the first-place Pride has already ensured themselves a place in the playoffs. The exciting Saturday night matchup drew 2,470 fans to Pioneer Stadium for the game.
"Every season has some ups and downs and obviously you want to peak at the very end when you're going into playoffs and working toward a championship," said Pride Captain Rachel Buehler. "Now we have things to work on and sort out before playoffs. It also puts pressure on the defense to make sure that we don't let up a goal and I think that's really important for us to deal with that pressure before heading into playoffs. "
Both teams seemed to have the same game plan in mind, possession, as they both strung together impressive series of passes but couldn't penetrate the back line of the opposition. The teams put the best of the beautiful game on display in the middle of the field, with fancy footwork and speedy plays but couldn't get a good look at the goal on either side.
The Pride pressed the Red Stars defense harder in the second half but was met with the same resistance as the first. Midway through the second half the Pride began to turn up the pressure on Chicago, controlling much of the last 25 minutes of the match. In the 81st minute, Christine Sinclair put the ball in the back of the net on a perfectly served free kick from Marta, but the goal was waived off after a foul was called on FC Gold Pride in the box, keeping the game scoreless, and that is how the match would end.
"It would've been nice to put a goal in but that's part of the game. You can win 4-0 and the offense will get all the accolades, but our defense has been rock solid all season and by getting the shut out, they're getting us a point," said forward Christine Sinclair.
Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart and the Pride defense, showing why they're the best in the league with a 0.77 goals against average, earned their second clean sheet in a row. On the other end of the field, the Pride was shut out marking the first time this season the best offense in WPS has been shut out of consecutive matches.
"We have a really good offense but I hope that teams will respect our defense and realize that we do have a great defensive end," said Rachel Buehler.
Most of the team's pink jerseys donned by the on Saturday night to raise awareness for the fight against Breast Cancer were auctioned off in-game with proceeds of the auction going to the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center. Fans can still place bids for the game worn pink jerseys of Marta, Christine Sinclair, Rachel Buehler, Shannon Boxx and Kelley O'Hara in the Pride's Online Auction.
With the opportunity to clinch a home playoff game clearly in site, the Pride will return to action next Saturday, August 14 when Abby Wambach and the Washington Freedom come to the Bay Area for their final visit of the regular season. Kickoff at Pioneer Stadium on the Campus of California State University East Bay is scheduled for 7 PM.
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Women's Professional Soccer Stories from August 8, 2010
- First place Pride extends unbeaten streak to seven after tying Chicago 0-0 - FC Gold Pride
- Red Stars, 1st-place Gold Pride Play To Draw - Chicago Red Stars
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