Categorized | Match Reports

Red Stars break their Philly jinx with 2-0 victory

Posted on 02 September 2010 by mwkajdas

Even though the Red Stars were mathematically eliminated from the WPS playoffs last Saturday when the Washington Freedom beat Sky Blue FC, they still had a lot to play for against the Philadelphia Independence Wednesday night at Toyota Park. The Red Stars had been winless against both Philadelphia and the Atlanta Beat this season and, going into their final game against the Independence, this would be their last chance to avoid being skunked by both expansion teams this year. Happily for their fans, the Red stars managed to save face by shutting out the Independence 2-0 on goals from Veronica Boquete and Marian Dalmy. Both players notched the first tallies of their WPS careers.

With their scoring leader, Ella Masar, scheduled to miss the final two games of the season as she recovers from surgery on a broken nose suffered when she scored off a header against FC Gold Pride on August 22nd, Red Stars coach, Omid Namazi elected to sit out Cristiane, his other starting forward, in favor of Casey Nogueira and his latest acquisition, Veronica Boquete, whose visa problems have finally been resolved. The decision proved fortuitous for the Red Stars as Boquete wasted no time scoring the opening goal in just the 4th minute of the game. Casey Nogueira sent a free kick screaming from the right corner of Philadelphia’s 18-yard box to the near post of their goal, where Vero deflected the ball straight up into roof of the net.

Just put a purple wig on her head and wrap a Zorro mask around those piercing blue eyes because Veronica “Hit Girl” Boquete is proving to be the real deal for the Red Stars. Three minutes after scoring her goal, she dribbled the ball down the right wing and slotted a smooth pass inside to Megan Rapinoe who, unfortunately, pushed the ball just wide of the far post. For the next twenty minutes, the Red Stars played a decent game of “Keep Away” as they relentlessly passed the ball back and forth between their defense and midfield. Neither team looking intent on scoring anytime soon.

The game picked up in the 28th minute when Casey Nogueira ran the ball into the left corner of the Philadelphia zone before passing it back to Formiga at the top of the box. The Brazilian fed the ball inside to Karen Carney waiting at the open net on the far post but the crowd could only gasp as Carney stretched in vain to get a touch on the ball. Two minutes later, the Red Stars passed a free kick out wide to Marian Dalmy on the right wing, who then crossed the ball through Philadelphia’s 6-yard box. Katie Chapman slid in to tap the ball into an unguarded patch of netting but failed to make the necessary contact, inciting more anguished cries from the fans.

Philadelphia decided to get into the game in the 34th minute when Jen Buczkowski fired a shot across Chicago’s bow. The ball zoomed past Jillian Loyden’s diving attempt at a save and barely missed the far post of the net. Only a minute later, Chicago had its best scoring chance of the game when Vero broke through with the ball from the centerline and charged on a breakaway toward the Philadelphia goal. Just before she reached the penalty area, Vero passed inside to Casey Nogueira, who found herself in a one-on-one showdown with the Independence keeper. Noogie fired but Henderson blocked the shot with her left leg, leaving no second chances for a rebound.

Philadelphia made one more attempt to score before the half when Amy Rodriguez broke free of the pack on the outskirts of the Chicago penalty area and wedged between Whitney Engen and Kate Markgraf on the Chicago back line. Loyden charged out to disarm her but missed the ball with her sliding block, leaving both A-Rod and the ball standing by their lonesomes in front of the net. Fortunately for Chicago, Engen swooped in to clear the ball before Rodriguez was able to pounce on it.

Philadelphia began to look more alive at the start of the second half. Lori Lindsey, Amy Rodriguez and Joanna Lohman all took turns scrambling around the Chicago penalty area with the ball before A-Rod fired it up over the top of the crossbar. Two minutes later, they moved the same play inside the box but this time Jillian Loyden made the save on their shot.

In spite of all these efforts, it was Chicago who once again found the back of the net. The play started in the 54th minute, when Whitney Engen stripped the ball away from a Philadelphia attack and centered it up the field to Megan Rapinoe. Pinoe passed the ball out wide to Katie Chapman, who carried it into the right corner and dropped it back to Karen Carney, trailing on the wing. Carney flipped the ball in to Marian Dalmy who, from 24 yards out, fired a shot that found its way inside the far post.

Philadelphia thought they got a goal back in the 66th minute when Caroline Seger launched a pass toward the Chicago goal that was mishandled by their keeper. In the ensuing pileup in front of the net, a Philadelphia shot was blocked by the Chicago defense but ricocheted out to A-Rod on the opposite post. Rodriguez popped the ball into the net only to be ruled offside amid much protest from her teammates.

After that, it was Chicago’s turn to create some more fireworks. In the 72nd minute, Casey Nogueira captured the ball off a blocked Philadelphia free kick and passed it out to Cristiane running up the right wing. Cristiane calmly closed in on goal but fired her shot wide of the far post. A minute later, Vero dribbled the ball to the left of the Independence 6-yard box and crossed it to Katie Chapman on the opposite corner. Chapman’s shot hit the crossbar but bounced right back at her. She headed it back once more but Allison Falk was waiting to make the save off the line.

Beginning in the 76th minute, Philadelphia made its final two attempts to even the match. Lianne Sanderson crossed the ball into Chicago’s penalty area where Natalie Spilger, sporting a braided mohawk reminiscent of an old Mad Max movie, came up short on her clearing header. Player and ball both dropped to the ground, leaving Danesha Adams licking her chops at the mishap. But Jillian Loyden threw herself on the ball like it was a live hand grenade before Adams could take advantage of the situation. Three minutes later, Adams fed the ball through to A-Rod on one of her customary breakaways forcing Loyden to come all the way out of the penalty area to slide onto the ball and preserve her clean sheet.

“I don’t think we particularly played that well,” Omid Namazi gave his assessment of the game afterward. “I think we had decent spurts of good play and we could have scored a lot more. But overall, the possession I didn’t think was as good as it was in other games that we’ve had and we’ve lost. So, having said that, I’ll take the win.”

Now that the playoffs are out of reach, what becomes more pertinent to the future of this team is the future of their front line. With Boquete providing a real spark to their offense and Ella Masar emerging as their scoring leader, one has to wonder if Cristiane and her hefty wage demands have suddenly become surplus requirements for the Red Stars. As the off-season quickly approaches, it will be interesting to see where all these chips fall into place for next season.

Match Summary
Chicago Red Stars vs Philadelphia Independence
September 1, 2010 – Toyota Park – Bridgeview, IL
Attendance: 2173
Weather: 83 degrees under overcast skies

Scoring
4’ Chicago: Veronica Boquete (Casey Nogueira)
54’ Chicago: Marian Dalmy (Karen Carney)

Misconduct
36’ Chicago: Katie Chapman (yellow card)
77’ Philadelphia: Caroline Seger (yellow card)

Lineups
Chicago Red Stars:
Jillian Loyden
Marian Dalmy
Kate Markgraf
Natalie Spilger
Whitney Engen
Karen Carney (57: Cristiane)
Katie Chapman
Formiga
Megan Rapinoe (73: Lydia Vandenbergh)
Casey Nogueira (84: Sophie Reiser)
Veronica Boquete

Philadelphia Independence:
Val Henderson
Nikki Krzysik
Sara Larsson (46: Joanna Lohman)
Allison Falk
Holmfridur Magnussdottir
Caroline Seger
Kelly Henderson (70: Danesha Adams)
Lori Lindsey (64: Lianne Sanderson)
Jen Buczkowski
Tina DiMartino
Amy Rodriguez

Officials
Referee: Moo Hacket
Asst Referees: Said Ravanfar, Ian Gut
4th Official: Miguel Panduro Jr.

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