Independence earns first win of the season on Sunday night
The Philadelphia Independence earned its first win of the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer season on Sunday night, defeating the visiting Boston Breakers by a final score of 2-0. Tasha Kai and Lianne Sanderson each scored their third goals of the young season during the match and goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart made six saves to earn her first shutout of the season. On the other end of the field, Boston’s Alyssa Naeher played a tremendous match, making eight saves to keep her team within striking range of Philadelphia.
Following the match, Philadelphia has posted a W-L-T record of 1-1-1 to earn four points while Boston has accumulated six points at 2-3-0.
Philadelphia controlled much of the early possession in the first half, doing a good job of pressuring Boston’s back four. Amy Rodriguez made a very strong run up the field in the 17th minute, beating four Breakers’ defenders to feed the ball to teammate Kai. The forward attempted to fake out the goalkeeper and aim for the near post, but Naeher made a strong kick save to prevent the goal.
Kai was able to find the score sheet in the 41st minute, netting her third goal of the season thanks to a tremendous individual effort. The Hawaiian forward fired a left-footed shot towards the near post after collecting the ball and shrugging off a defender. The shot hit right off the woodwork and bounced back to the six-yard box where she made a lunging effort to head the ball into the back of the net.
The Independence came out of halftime with the same level of intensity shown in the first, as Sanderson found the back of the net in the 54th minute to double her club’s lead. The English forward scored her third goal on a rebound of Amy Rodriguez’s shot. After the initial save was made, the ball spilled right to Sanderson who was able to tap it in from a very sharp angle.
Philadelphia’s next match is a May 15 date at Atlanta while Boston will play at Western New York on the 13th.
Tasha Kai (Philadelphia) 41’
Lianne Sanderson (Philadelphia) 54’
Keelin Winters (Boston): Yellow 79’
(Image courtesy of womensprosoccer.com)