NFL, MLB, CFL stats

Freedom Play to Draw Against Chicago Red Stars on Fourth of July

July 4, 2010 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - magicJack News Release

BOYDS, Md. (July 4, 2010)-- Plenty of chances, but no goals, as Washington Freedom and the Chicago Red Stars played to a scoreless draw at the Maryland SoccerPlex on a scorching Fourth of July afternoon.

Chicago held a decided advantage in shots, 23-5.

"You can't complain about the conditions. I'm happy defensively. It was good psychologically to get the shut out," said Freedom coach Jim Gabarra. "You have players out there that can't move. We have four players who have played three games in one week with the All-Star Game. I'm just glad Erin (McLeod) played much better, and that she had good defensive help."

"Chicago played smart. They played well and took advantage of our fatigue and played the quick ball which worked against us," said McLeod, who made ten saves to earn her third shutout of the season. "One thing we can take away was that we played hard the whole game. We have had the tendency to give up the late goal and we didn't today. I'm proud of the back line."

The first good opportunity went Chicago's way in the 18th minute. Brazilian Cristiane made a penetrating run towards goal and crossed to Ella Masar, whose first-time shot from 15 yards out went high of Erin McLeod's goal.

In the 35th minute, Freedom midfielder Allie Long fouled Chicago's Megan Rapinoe about 30 yards from goal. Red Stars defender Marian Dalmy's hard-hit right-footed free kick was punched over the crossbar by a fully extended McLeod.

Freedom was able to generate two corners late in the half, but both teams went to the locker room empty-handed.

Freedom All-Star Sonia Bompastor was substituted at the half, but Gabarra said it was just a matter of wear-and-tear.

"Sonia physically couldn't do what she can do. She played in the All-Star Game (Wednesday) and has played a lot over the last few weeks. That's why I replaced her going into the second half."

Chicago took several shots from deep in the first 10 minutes of the second half, most notably a 25-yard rip by Cristiane right into McLeod's chest.

In the 66th minute, a through ball set Cristiane free down the right side-Nikki Marshall's sliding tackle at the last second prevented a clear chance.

Ten minutes later, Wambach drew a foul feet from the top right corner of the 18-yard box, but captain Cat Whitehill's free kick went wide.

Marshall, who shifted up front in the 74th minute, won a corner kick in the 77th minute for Freedom, but Red Stars goalkeeper Jillian Loyden did well to punch out the service from Allie Long.

In the 81st minute, Chicago again came close, but McLeod made another save from close range to deny Red Stars midfielder Karen Carney.

It feels good to get that zero," said McLeod. "I thought that Nikki Marshall and Cat Whitehill played very well today."

"We were going against a team that has allowed the fewest goals in the league. You just have to take what you get," said Gabarra.

Freedom (4-3-4) remain in fourth place and will travel to play Sky Blue FC on Wednesday, July 7, at 7 p.m.

• Discuss this story on the Women's Professional Soccer message board...

Women's Professional Soccer Stories from July 4, 2010

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

OurSports Central