Moros, McLeod help lead Freedom to 1-1 tie with Boston
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - With its most dangerous scoring and team captain serving a one-game suspension, the biggest question the Washington Freedom faced heading into its road match against the Boston Breakers was who would step up in Abby Wambach's absence.
Making her second start of the season, Rebecca Moros was the player who stepped up offensively, scoring the game's opening goal as the Freedom tied Boston 1-1 in front of 4,241.
"Without Abby it offered the opportunity for other players to step up and she took the opportunity pretty well along with Lisa [De Vanna] and Allie [Long]," said Freedom Head Coach Jim Gabarra.
Surrounded by three Boston defenders while making a run in the 33rd minute, De Vanna found Moros wide open on her right. Moros took the pass and put a shot past Breakers goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill to give Washington (1-2-3, 6 points) a 1-0 lead that carried into the half.
Breakers defender Alex Scott placed a shot out of the reach of a jumping Erin McLeod by in the 49th minute to tie things up for Boston (3-2-2, 11 points) at 1-1. Making her debut in goal for the Freedom, McLeod made five saves, including a key save on a Kelly Smith shot late in the second half that Breakers Head Coach Tony DiCicco referred to as the "save of the year."
"Erin was solid," Gabarra said. "She was aggressive when she needed to be aggressive. When we needed the big save she made the big save. I'm very happy with her and very happy for her."
Between starting his third goalkeeper of the year and having to find someone to replace Wambach's offense, Gabarra was happy to leave Boston with a tie.
"Overall it was probably a fair result," he said. "It's good to get a point on the road against a team that's good at home and in second place. We're satisfied with the result and we'll continue to try to get better."
The tie gives the Freedom its sixth point of the season and moved the team into sole possession of fifth place in the standings. The team returns to Washington on Saturday to take on Sky Blue FC (New Jersey/New York) in the first of three doubleheaders with D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Kick off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
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Women's Professional Soccer Stories from May 17, 2009
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