In the first of a stretch of three straight home games for the Los Angeles Sol, Abner Rogers's women made amends for their draw on the road against St. Louis Athletica in a 2-0 victory.
After a successful day for team captain Shannon Boxx against Canada with the USA National Team, she translated her success to her first goal of the season in the 50th minute off a pass from Han Duan.
In a goalmouth scramble, the ball landed at her feet, and it was a simple blast that St. Louis goalkeeper Hope Solo had no chance of saving.
Los Angeles opened the scoring with another scramble in the 35th minute. A missed bicycle kick attempt by Marta ended up at the feet of Camille Abily, who slotted the ball home for her third goal of the season. The Brazilian international was credited with the assist.
With the victory, the Sol are 6-1-2 and are nine points clear of Boston (who have yet to play this weekend as this article went to press). St. Louis drops to 2-3-2 for the season.
The Sol pounced on Athletica from the first whistle to the last. Los Angeles outshot St. Louis 16-8 (8-4 on target), had more crosses (17 to 13) and corners (six to two).
"To be honest it was great possession," said Shannon Boxx on her goal in the second half. "We got forward and created great space. It was perfect and made my goal easy."
The success from her victory with the USA team on Memorial Day resonated on Saturday.
"Any time I can score it feels good," she said after the match. "Something I have been working on is the offensive side, and to get two goals the last two games, it feels good."
For Abily, it was redemption with style.
"I missed two goals before in the game so I am happy I scored," the former Olympique Lyonnais defender said following the match. "We tried to possess the ball more and it resulted in my goal."
"It feels good to win," Rogers said after the game. "We created a lot of opportunities.
"We worked on not always needing to get forward and possessing the ball in which created the second goal by Boxx. We worked on a lot of movement and getting the ball to Marta."
Indeed, the set plays worked to perfection. A measured manager, Rogers elected to keep his feet on the ground for the matches on Wednesday and Sunday against Chicago and Washington, respectively.
"The key will [be] to get recovered and rested," Rogers added, "to play 90 minutes in our game against Chicago, and to play the way we want to play.
"We think only about the next game, not the next two."
That next game, against the Chicago Red Stars, is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET. The rematch with the Washington Freedom is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 7, and will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel.
St. Louis Athletica will be returning to the Anheuser Busch Center to take on Sky Blue FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET.
Saint Louis Athletica (2-3-2) at Los Angeles Sol (6-1-2)
May 30, 2009 – The Home Depot Center, Carson, California
35th LA Camille Abily (assisted by Marta)
50TH LA Shannon Box (assisted by Han Duan)
STL: Solo; Larsson, McNeill, Ellertson, Cross (Stoia 65); Woznuk, Chalupny, Francielle (Welsh 75), Fletcher (Weber 45); Aluko, Hanks
LA: LeBlanc; Falk, Franco, Cox, Makoski; Box, Miyama, Abily, Bock (Zerboni 86); Duan (Larkin 87), Marta
Total Shots: 8 16
Shots on Goal: 4 8
Saves: 6 4
Fouls: 7 3
Corners: 2 6
Offsides: 1 3
Referee: Kari Seitz
Referee's Assistants: Veronica Perez, Bing Kongmehbol
Fourth official: Felisha Mariscal
Time of Game: 1:47
Weather: Cloudy, 63 degrees