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Washington Freedom Tie Sky Blue Late, 4-4

July 15, 2009 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - magicJack News Release

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Cat Whitehill tied the game up in the 92nd minute to help the Washington Freedom pick up an important point in the WPS standings as they tied Sky Blue FC 4-4 in a game played Wednesday evening at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J. The Freedom now move in to a tie for fifth place.

"We came up here to get three points and came away with one so that is a bit disappointing," said Washington Freedom head coach Jim Gabarra. "The positives are we did get the one point, we showed heart and we did the right things late in the game to put us in good position. There was not much time left after Cat's goal, but we still thought we could win it."

Whitehill's goal was unassisted as it came after a bit of a scrum in front of Sky Blue goalie Jenni Branam. Whitehill was playing as a forward because of an injury earlier in the game and when a ball was not cleared properly she took advantage of the misplay.

The Freedom jumped out to an early 1-0 first half lead when Sonia Bompastor took a pass from Ali Krieger and scored in the 4th minute. Sky Blue responded with two goals to take a 2-1 lead at the half. Sky Blue's Natasha Kai came into the game with an injured shoulder but that did not stop her from knotting things up at a goal apiece just two minutes after Bompastor's goal. In the 27th minute Kacey White took a Keeley Dowling pass to put Sky Blue up a goal at the half.

"We just did not react well after scoring early and for most of the first half we did not play tight defensively," said Gabarra. "We kind of stood around and let Kai score that first goal. In the second half we played with more intensity, spaced better defensively and had the better of the play for most of the half."

In the second half Sky Blue went up 3-1 when White scored her second goal of the game at the 46th minute, however, that is when the momentum turned as the Freedom's Lisa De Vanna scored two goals in the next seven minutes. De Vanna, who had been called offside several times collected a pass from Bompastor and scored at the 47th minute to get Washington back within a goal.

Seven minutes later Abby Wambach drew the defenders towards her then found De Vanna, who went one-on-one with Sky Blue goalie Jennie Branam before tapping the ball in and tying it up at 3-3.

There was no scoring until the 86 minute mark when Kai knocked a shot past the Freedom's. Six minutes later Whitehill responded with the final score of the night.

Freedom goalie Erin McLeod faced 15 shots (five on goal) and notched one save while Branam picked up three saves on 12 total shots (nine on goal).

The 4-4 game is the highest scoring in WPS history.

The Freedom are now 4-6-5 and will host second-place Saint Louis Athletica on Saturday, July 18 at 5:00 p.m. The game will be aired live on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.

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