August 27, 2011
Independence falls in title game again
ROCHESTER, NY---The Philadelphia Independence will have to keep their Unfinished Business tee-shirts clean for 2012 after falling on penalties to the Western New York Flash in a tense WPS Championship in front of 10,461 at Sahlenís Stadium Saturday.
|Amy Rodriguez scored against Western New York in the 87th minute to send the WPS Championship Game to overtime, but the Independence fell to the Flash on pks after a 1-1 draw.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Christine Sinclair gave the Flash the lead in the 64th minute, finishing off a pass from Candace Chapman. Sinclair was deep on the left side and beat Independence goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart on an angle to the far side.
After missing an opportunity to give the Independence the lead in the first half, Amy Rodriguez tied the game 1-1 in the 87th minute. Danesha Adams took a shot, which Ashlyn Harris got a hand on near the right post. Harris could not control the ball, which bounced lightly off the post. Rodriguez darted in just ahead of a defender and got off a low follow up shot that went between Harrisís legs as she tried to get up and into the far side netting.
With the game tied late in overtime, Barnhart made a fabulous reaction save on Caroline Seger, sprawling to one-hand the ball away from the base of the left post, to force penalties.
The Independence went a player up in the 108th minute, when Beverly Goeble was shown her second yellow card in less than 12 minutes, after pulling down Veronica Boquete.
Western New York made all five of their penalty kicks, with Marta starting the ball rolling by putting one into the right corner, even after Barnhart got a hand on it. Sinclair, Mc Call Zerboni, Caroline Seger and Yael Averbuch all made their ensuing shots.
Lianne Sanderson put one right up the middle on the Independenceís first attempt, then Adams, LeighAnn Robinson and Boquete all converted. But Harris, the league goalkeeper of the year, stopped Laura Del Rioís attempt in the fifth round, sending the Independence to their second straight Championship Game defeat.