CARSON, CA August 22, 2009 The Los Angeles
Sol (Womens Professional Soccer) dropped a 1-0 decision to Sky Blue
FC (NJ/NY) in the first-ever WPS Championship presented by MedImmune Saturday
afternoon at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
Midfielder Heather OReilly
opened the scoring for Sky Blue in the 16th minute. Keeley Dowling crossed
the ball into the penalty area from the right wing, it was flicked on by
Natasha Kai and deflected to OReilly; she calmly put it home past Sol
goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc.
It was the first goal for Sky Blue
FC against the Sol this season.
The Sol were reduced to ten players
in the 27th minute when rookie defender Allison Falk was shown a red card
by referee Kari Seitz for a tackle from behind on Natasha Kai just outside
Despite being down a player, the
Sol nearly equalized a minute later, but Sky Blue keeper Jenni Branam
leapt off her line to snag Aya Miyamas cross and diffuse the threat.
The Sol nearly drew even again in the opening stages of the second half when
Aly Wagner sent a long, aerial ball into the goalmouth that required Braham
to out jump Brittany Bock to catch the ball and keep it out of the net. Despite
being undermanned, the hosts continued to push forward throughout the latter
stages of the match as Sky Blue FCs defense, led by player-coach Christie
Rampone, thwarted every offensive surge.
Im so proud of this team.
Even when we were down a man, we fought until the end and believed we could
win this match, said Captain Shannon Boxx. We played our hearts
out and left everything we had out on the field today. You cant ask
for more from this team. Soccer is a funny game that way and today it just
didnt go our way.
The victory meant that Sky Blue FC,
which had three coaches during the course of the season, finished 4-1 under
Rampone, who took over the coaching duties on July 30 with 10 days left in
the season, and captured three consecutive playoff games on the road as the
No. 4 seed when the WPS Playoffs began. I think its an exceptional
team we have here with Sky Blue FC. I think it was a great fun for us, battling
back to make it into the playoffs and winning three games in eight days,
said Rampone. I think we came out strong, the adrenaline was definitely
kicking with us and we went after them and had our legs.
I think the intangibles won
that game for us. said WPS Championship MVP Heather OReilly.
You never wish that you go through so may ups and downs that went through
this season, but I thin kin the end its character building. I just think
the fibers of this team are so close and so that that nothing was going to
It is disappointing to lose
this game, it was our goal all season long to win the championship,
said Sol forward Marta. Soccer is a funny game sometimes and you have
to deal with that. As team, though, we should be very proud for what we were
able to accomplish all season long.