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Improved Beat Fall 4-0 to magicJack

May 29, 2011 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release

KENNESAW, GA. (May 28, 2011) - The Atlanta Beat of Women's Professional Soccer played a much improved match on Saturday night in their second meeting with magicJack at FAU Soccer Stadium, but a few defensive errors played into a 4-0 loss.

"Apart from the scoreline," said Beat head coach James Galanis, "I am pleased with the performance of the team. When we came down here the last time, we played with fear. We gave them too much respect, and all of our players were intimidated by the level of players we were up against. This time, we didn't show them any respect. We played with no fear, and we went after them."

The Beat found several close chances in each half with at least four before the 45 minute mark. Although those chances did not translate into goals, they kept the match competitive even after magicJack found the net.

In the ninth minute of play, a Beat defender misjudged a header that allowed magicJack forward Abby Wambach to streak in behind and capitalize for the game's first finish. Three minutes later, the Beat defense maintained a high restraining line to pull magicJack offsides. However, the flag stayed down as magicJack's Sarah Huffman got in behind to score.

At the break, the Beat trailed 2-0 but never lost focus or confidence. "We are not out of this game," said Galanis at the half.. "If we can score one goal, everything changes. Go out there and play a better game than we did in the first half, and we can get back into it."

When the second half began, magicJack's Meghan Schnur was replaced by Lydia Vandenberg in the 46th and the Beat's subbed Meghan Lenczyk in for Lyndsey Patterson in the 51st.

Beat midfielder Carli Lloyd had a near finish in the 64th minute when she received the ball on the right flank. She got around her defender and fired a shot that sailed just wide of the top corner.

Second half play continued with chances for each club before Wambach, in the 67th minute, found her second goal of the night on a solid shot to the near post. The Beat continued to fight as captain and midfielder Lori Chalupny had a close attempt in the 71st minute. After a nice build-up through the midfield, Chalupny's struck a shot that just barely went over the crossbar.

The game's final goal came in the 89th minute after a ball played back to Beat goalkeeper Alli Lipsher landed near a magicJack player on the clearance. Wambach ran onto the ball and tucked it away before the final whistle.

"Take away the scoreline and we really played well," said Galanis. " Again, it's the mistakes that let us down. We have to keep plugging away and keep supporting the players. Each one of us felt that we played a lot better than we had in the previous three weeks."

The Beat return to action for another road match on Saturday, June 4 when they face the Philadelphia Independence. The club returns home on Saturday, June 11 to host magicJack for the first time this season.

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