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Discussion in 'US Women's Lower Divisions' started by StarCityFan, Jan 17, 2008.
From the team website:
Washington Freedom 5, (formerly) last undefeated team in Northeast Division 1
I was out-of-town for this game, but it sounds like an impressive performance. They have two games this coming weekend, so we'll see how those go.
What happened to New Jersey? They used to be such a formidable team.
Their coach, Charlie Naimo, left, and took most of the best players with him to Jersey Sky Blue. He's now coaching the Pali Blues, and still has some of the same players there.
A nailbiter at the Soccerplex
The Freedom came away with a 2-1 win over the New York Magic, but it was a near thing.
Looking at the radar, I assumed that there would be a significant rain delay to the start of the match. There was a delay, though not as much of one as I’d anticipated, as the game was about 25 minutes in when I arrived. The Freedom, while not exactly dominating, had the better of the run of play, with several near-misses and a couple of unproductive corner kicks. But in stoppage time Noelle Meeke got into a battle for the ball with a Freedom defender in the box. In the struggle, the ball took an odd bounce at a shallow angle and went in just inside the right-hand post and just out of goalkeeper Chante Sandiford’s reach. The goal was credited to Meeke even though it looked almost like an own goal to me. The half ended seconds later, just long enough for the Freedom to kick off.
The Magic held their own, but the Freedom attack grew ever more determined as the half wore on, particularly after the 62nd minute, when Tiffany McCarty replaced Ali Andrzejewski at forward. The Freedom finally scored in the 64th minute when left flank midfielder Jen Parsons stole the ball from a Magic defender and slotted it in to Lori Lindsey just inside the top of the box. Lori had time to turn and settle the ball and knock it in out of the goalkeepers reach.
For most of the rest of the game, the Freedom were knocking on the door, maintaining possession, finding the gaps in the Magic defense, bringing the ball forward, but not being able to make a successful final shot. Tiffany made a great run down the right side in the 74th minute but was dispossessed before she could shoot. She also sent a great backheel to Kele Golebiowski in the 79th minute while facing away from goal, but Kele sent it right to the goalkeeper.
Finally, substitute Jillian Gilbeau managed to be in close range and with the ball following a corner kick and knocked the ball onto the underside of the crossbar. The goalkeeper knocked the ball back out again, but the linesman ruled it a goal. The game was delayed for several minutes as the Magic protested: one defender got a yellow card, and the coach was ejected.
The rest of the match was largely uneventful, and the Freedom came away with a hard-earned victory.
Washington Freedom vs. New York Magic
June 14, 2008 - Maryland Soccerplex, Germantown, MD
Washington (4-4-2 formation) - Chante Sandiford, Christen Karniski (Ella Masar 46), Alex Singer, Jordan Grant (Rebecca Moros 46), Emily Janss, Kele Golebiowski (Jillian Gilbeau 80), Lori Lindsey, Madison Keller, Jenn Parsons, Christie Welsh, Ali Andrzejewski (Tiffany McCarty 71).
New York (4-5-1 formation) - Alicia DeFino, Penny Stansfield, Eleri Earnshaw, Allison Fries, Marta Anderson-Winchell (Maria Romano 59), Robin McCullough, Noelle, Meeke (Tonya Hipsman), Mikaela Howell, Gemma Davidson (Kristen Turner 75), Kanae Kaneishi, Donna Kay Henry.
Yet another nailbiter at the Soccerplex
Thrice have I journeyed unto the Maryland Soccerplex, and thrice the Freedom have like unto thrust a dagger into my heart by giving up the first goal. Tonight the Freedom came away with a 1-1 tie, but only after giving up a goal in the ninth minute.
It was a night for familiar faces, as three players for the Majestics were formerly with the Freedom: starting midfielder Kelly Hammond and subs Nataly Arias and Tara Kidwell.
Kelly started off the scoring as a Freedom defender tripped a Magic attacker in the box. She knocked the ball into the lower right-hand corner, well out of the reach of goalkeeper Chante Sandiford.
The Freedom had the better part of the play for the rest of the first half, but just couldn’t get anything in. Centering passes were just a little bit off, headers were too high, or the goalkeeper just managed to tip a ball over the crossbar. At halftime, the Freedom remained down by a goal.
The second-half squared or cubed the frustration, as the Freedom totally dominated - I don’t think the ball spent more than a minute of the second half in the Majestics end - but looked ever more as if they were going to come away empty.
Christie Welsh made a dangerous-looking run down the right side in the 51st minute, threatening to get behind the defense, but didn’t get away a shot. Jenn Parsons shot wide right a minute later. Tiffany McCarty totally faked out a defender in the 55th minute, but the goalkeeper just managed to block the shot, then corraled Jenn’s shot off the rebound. In the 58th minute, Tiffany faked out the goalkeeper but had her shot into an open net blocked by a defender. In the 65th minute, Sarah Huffman send a good cross to Jenn, who knocked the ball just wide left. A minute later, Jillian Gilbeau sent a cross in to Christie’s head, but it went right to the ‘keeper. Come the 69th minute, and Emily Janss faked out a defender and was one-on-one with the goalkeeper but sent the ball right to her. A minute later Christie centered a ball right across the goalmouth but just too far in front of Tiffany for her to get to it.
Well, I could go on, but you get the idea. By this time Emily Janss had moved up from her usual left flank defender position to a very aggressive flank midfielder position and was sending in textbook crosses that could have been used in training videos. But either they were just high, or the shots were off-target. Lori Lindsey hit the left post with one shot, and Jenn hit the right post with another seven minutes later. Christie Welsh came off in the 71st minute looking intensely frustrated and almost glaring at the crowd giving her polite applause.
Finally, in the 86th minute, Jenn came in a little on the left side of midfield and fed a ball in to Tiffany McCarty in the box right in front of goal, and Tiffany managed to dribble past a Majestic defender and put it away for the long-awaited tying score.
There was one good play in the 88th minute as Emily made an awesome trap of a long forward pass to the right-hand corner, but her resulting cross was uncharacteristically off-target, going over the goal. The Freedom had one corner kick in stoppage time, but Christen Karniski shot high. They had to be content with a draw.
Washington Freedom vs. Northern Virginia Majestics
June 15, 2008 - Maryland Soccerplex, Germantown, MD
Washington (4-4-2 formation) - Chante Sandiford, Kele Golebiowski (Jenn Parsons 46), Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Singer, Emily Janss, Ella Masar (Jillian Gilbeau 60), Sarah Huffman, Lori Lindsey, Madison Keller (Rebecca Moros 56), Ali Andrzejewski (Tiffany McCarty 46), Christie Welsh (Christen Karniski 71).
Northern Virginia (starting lineup only) - Katherine Milstead, Mary Casey, Caitlin Walko, , Jessica Davis, Abby Lauer, Kika Toulouse, Jessica Paris, Amy Smerdzinski, Jessie Deegan, Kelly Hammond, Sara Gustafson.
The Freedom totally dominated the second half. No Va's goalie had a great night, she made many easy saves and several fantastic saves.
The Freedom would have won by at least three goals if an average goal keeper was having an average game.
She was credited with 23 saves, though I don't remember many spectacular ones, just a lot of balls (a lot of balls) that went right to her.
I think there were two fantastic saves in the second half; a one-on-one, and a high shot punched over the bar.
There were many shots that she saved without moving her feet, but there few very few of those that had a rebound.
she did a great job.
Kate Milstead, the keeper, will in all likely hood be Florida States starter this fall with Erin McNulty playing for Canada in the U-20 world cup. So a future nole, Mccarty, scores on a current nole, Milstead.
mccarty had a nice game herself.....
Whats the scouting report on Tiffany? Is she the real deal? Will she make an immediate impact at FSU?
I've only seen her play in this game, but she seems pretty good.
She looks very impressive at this level: great ball-handling skills, makes defenders looks silly, finds openings, and makes dangerous shots. She's made an impact whenever she's come into a game I've seen, though that's only been a few times so far.
Remember that the Freedom play this Sunday at RFK (at 5:15).
"For tickets or more information contact Dan Giffin at 202-587-5479 or firstname.lastname@example.org"
Welsh Scores Late to Lift Freedom Past Sky Blue
Today's match has been cancelled. Apparently the Long island team got stuck in traffic. There are also concerns about the weather conditions - not sure whether this has to do with the heat or with the threat of thunderstorms.
The Freedom Return to RFK
The Washington Freedom last played at RFK in 2004, an exhibition game against Nottingham Forest that proved to be a clinic in passing technique more than a competitive match, as the Freedom won, 7-0, and current national team alternate Ali Krieger got a hat trick.
This match against the Richmond Kickers Destiny, the second half of a doubleheader with DC United, was about as lopsided, a 5-0 win off two goals by Ali Andrzejewski (unfortunately for the announcer, who was butchering names all day long: for the uninitiated, it’s ANN-druh-JEV-ski).
The real opportunity was a chance to promote the Freedom and Women’s Professional Soccer, though not much was made of either. The only mentions of WPS that I caught was an announcement early in halftime - there was no physical presence at all, not even the sad little table that was there for the national team game last month.
The audience didn’t help much, either: the official attendance was 17,922, but of that about 90% left after the DC United match, then at least half of those remaining left after the first half of the Freedom match (about the same time as the WPS announcement was being made). By that time there were fewer people there than they usually get at Germantown. Plus, judging by the applause, most of those who stayed were Richmond fans. The biggest cheers of all were given to Jenn Parsons, who, though with the Freedom this year, was one of their star players last year and played for a local college.
They might have had the right idea, as, while the first half was decent, the second half didn’t amount to much. (Don’t scoff, DC United fans, your team sucked rocks their first half.)
The scoring started almost immediately, in the second minute, as Jenn Parsons sent in a centering pass from her right flank position that Ali put in from about ten yards out. Eleven minutes later, Christie Welsh set up Lori Lindsey with a lazy rolling ball across the top of the box. Lori pounded a left-footed shot off the top of the crossbar and in from about twenty yards out - the first time I’ve seen her score on one of those long balls in the W-League despite many, many attempts.
In the 29th minute Christie Welsh stole the ball from a Richmond defender in front of goal, found some room, and had an easy putaway. In the 37th minute, the Freedom had a major break through the Destiny defense, with Kele Golebiowski, Christie, and Ali all behind their defenders. Kele centered to Christie from the left side, Christie’s shot went off the left post, but the rebound came to Ali, who knocked it in unchallenged.
With the Freedom holding a 4-0, both teams substituted liberally to start the second half, and play got rather sloppy, and even more so when the Freedom did another massive substitution in the 62nd minute, leaving defender Christen Karniski as the only Washington player to go the full match.
A final score came when Rebecca Moros slid a ball through the defense to Anabel Jimenez, who faked out goalkeeper Chantel Jones and put the ball into an open net.
Concussion victim Kati Jo Spisak was at the match but was not dressed for it. (In fact, she came out for the second half eating a popsicle.)
And, just for comparison’s sake, I’ll note that when the undefeated regular-season-championship contenders Atlanta Silverbacks played Richmond at home, in a game that counted, they only won 3-0.
Washington Freedom vs. Richmond Kickers Destiny
June 22, 2008 - Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, Washington, DC
Washington (4-4-2 formation) - Chante Sandiford (Eliza Bennett-Hattan 62), Christen Karniski, Becky Sauerbrunn (Danielle Malagari 62), Alex Singer (Jordan Grant 46), Emily Janss (Sarah Senty 46), Kele Golebiowski (Heather Tomko 46), Sarah Huffman (Jennifer Om 62), Lori Lindsey (Madison Keller 62), Jenn Parsons (Jillian Gilbeau 46), Ali Andrejewski (Anabel Jimenez 62), Christie Welsh (Rebecca Moros 46).
Richmond (starting lineup only) - Chantel Jones, Amanda Stewart, Kylie Davies, Kristin Lescalleet, Sarah Hilt, Dunia Susi, Caitlin Miskel, Emma Delves, Michelle Schuler, Jessica O’Dwyer, Jessica, Varela.
According to Big Apple Soccer, the real reason for the postponement is that the team bus was in an accident enroute to the game. No word on any injuries.
Freedom forward (and high school chemistry teacher) Jenn Parsons was named Group A Coach of the Year by the Virginia High School Coaches Association. Her George Mason team won the state championship in just her second year as coach.
Another squeaker for the Freedom
The Freedom’s scoring prowess was lacking yet again as they defeated their cross-river rivals, the Northern Virginia Majestics, by a 1-0 score that utterly did not reflect the tone of the match.
The bleachers in the shade at Wakefield High School were on the same side as the tents shielding the teams, and the tent roofs were only marginally lower than the top row of bleachers. The bottom line is that it was easy to miss the action on certain parts of the field. I sat at the end the Freedom was attacking for each half and only missed a clear view of not more than ten minutes of action, which is about the total amount of time the Majestics were on the attack.
The first half looked like a repeat of the match in Germantown, with Northern Virginia goalkeeper Katie Milstead repulsing shot after shot - eight in the first thirty minutes. The best chance might have been a hammered Jenn Parsons shot in the 27th minute from about 15 yards out that Katie could only block, either that or the Kele Golebiowski shot in the 31st minute that Katie managed to deflect enough for it to go off the crossbar - and even then not out, but back into play.
Coach Gabarra’s talk at halftime, audible from the stands, seemed to have a “more in sorrow than in anger” tone, but he was obviously unhappy with the first half performance. The Freedom came out for the second half in a more aggressive 3-5-2 formation with Emily Janss moved from central defender to right flank midfielder. It paid off very quickly. Two minutes in, Emily made a perfectly timed streaking run down the right side and received a very long ball from midfield deep along the Majestics sideline and with ample room behind the defense. While the defenders struggled to recover, Ella Masar drove in toward goal and received a spot-on centering pass from Emily. Unmarked right in front of the goal, she had an easy putaway for the only score of the game.
There were several exciting moments after that, much more so than in the first half, but they all came to nothing. In the 66th minute, Christie Welsh made some great moves to get penetration into the left-hand side of the box, then rolled the ball to the right and out a bit, looking like a perfect setup for an open Jenn Parsons coming to the top of the box, but it was just a step too far. Four minutes later, Ella Maser almost earned an unassisted goal after she flat-out stole the ball from a defender and got behind her. But the defender caught up enough to make Ella take an early shot, which was high.
Substitute Heather Tomko got free behind the defense on the left side of the box, but was taken down from behind in a play that looked as if it deserved a penalty kick, but the Freedom weren’t even given a corner as the ball trickled out-of-bounds and was awarded to the Majestics.
All in all, the Freedom escaped with the win they deserved, but it was much closer than it should have been.
Northern Virginia Majestics vs. Washington Freedom
July 2, 2008 - Wakefield High School, Arlington, VA
WAS - Masar (Janss) 48
Virginia (4-5-1 formation) - Katie Milstead, Mary Casey, Jessica Paris, Abby Lauer, Megan Watson, Angie Harvey (Katie Watson 54), Nataly Arias (Kika Toulouse 70), Tara Kidwell, Jessie Deegan (Kimmy Germain 60), Kelly Hammond, Ashley Banks.
Washington (4-4-2 formation) - Chante Sandiford, Christen Karniski, Becky Sauerbrunn, Emily Janss, Jillian Gilbeau (Sarah Senty 46), Kele Golebiowski (Rebecca Moros 60), Lori Lindsey, Sarah Huffmann, Jenn Parsons (Heather Tomko 77), Ali Andrzejewski (Ella Masar 46), Christie Welsh (Jordan Grant 89).
Where has Tiffany McCarty been?
I don't know. She's in the U-18 WNT pool, but she's not on the roster that's been playing matches in Europe unless she got pulled in late.
The Freedom have revamped their website in preparation for the WPS era.
In other news, we'll be without Becky Sauerbrunn and Ella Masar for a while as they'll be with the U-23 team competing for the Nordic Cup.
Meanwhile, the Freedom round out their season with a flurry of matches, with five in nine days starting Saturday. Northeast Division championship, here we come!