St. Louis Athletica picked up their second win of the season against the Philadelphia Independence today in Fenton, Mo.
Lindsay Tarpley, in her first start in St. Louis since recovering from an ACL injury, notched her first goal of the season in the 60th minute.
A flick by Eniola Aluko found Tarpley on the edge of the 18-yard box, and the US International took a shot that beat Independence goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc. The goal made the match 2-0 in Athletica's favor.
"It felt great to finish one. It was definitely a good feeling,” said Tarpley. “It has been a long rehab and I feel really good. I feel strong and confident. The Saint Louis organization has been very patient in allowing me to fully recover.”
“It was really inspiring for me to see a player come back from having such an injury,” said her forward partner Eniola Aluko. “We have been working together in training all week, just trying to find our rhythm. I am just glad my striking partner scored, and long may it continue.”
A Philadelphia own goal turned into St. Louis's first goal of the match. Aluko tried to slot a pass to Tarpley, but instead it hit the shin of Allison Falk and bounced past LeBlanc.
Athletica's 2-0 lead lasted for only 14 minutes, as Lyndsey Patterson struck home an uncharacteristic bobble by Hope Solo in the 75th minute. Amy Rodriguez hit a hard shot off the chest of Solo, who couldn't hold onto it.
St. Louis outshot Philadelphia 11-4 in the first half, with four shots on target to Philadlelphia's one. Tarpley had an impressive sequence of back-to-back shots, but they were blocked outside the eight-yard box. Lori Chalupny took a shot that ricocheted off the post, and Aluko had some chances as well, but couldn't finish.
The win brings Athletica to a 2-1-2 record as they travel to face Chicago Red Stars next Saturday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. at 7 p.m. ET.