While D.C. United racked up another loss a few hours earlier, female counterpart Washington Freedom saved the day when they defeated St. Louis Athletica 3-1 Saturday at the RFK Stadium.
It was a much-needed win for the ladies, not only because they were playing in front of potential fans, but due to a crushing loss against Philadelphia Independence the previous weekend.
"Last weekend was a character tester...I think we let ourselves down," said Freedom forward Abby Wambach. "Granted, Philly played a great game, but I really believe that we made it a lot easier for them in that game than we should have. And coming out here, getting three points in RFK after the D.C. United game, not sure I could be happier right now."
"It's something we knew that in order to get a fan base we have to play well in an environment where there are a lot of people. And this is a great environment to kinda do it in."
Wambach helped open the scoring when she assisted on a Sonia Bompastor goal in the 18th minute.
But just before halftime, Athletica answered back when forward Eniola Aluko scored a left-footed goal off an assist by captain Lori Chalupny.
It would be the only goal scored by St. Louis, who was unbeaten going into Saturday's contest.
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Homare Sawa opened the second half by finding the back of the net off a corner kick by Bompastor.
And to bury Athletica's hopes of collecting any points on the road, Lene Mykjaland earned her first WPS goal when she fired a long distance shot past goalkeeper Hope Solo.
"Three games in, we have one win and two ties. We needed the three points today," said Solo. "Unfortunately, we didn't get it. Going into our next game at home we need the three points. We put ourselves in a position where it's a must-win next weekend."
With their second win, the Freedom remain in third place, tied with last year's champion Sky Blue FC.
They will face the Boston Breakers next Saturday, May 8, at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
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