Freedom Victory in Military Appreciation Night
Happy Memorial Day Weekend D.C.! Here, have some three points.
After a heartbreaking loss in West Chester, PA a month ago, the Washington Freedom defeated neighbor Philadelphia Independence in their second meeting of the season in Boyds, MD.
The Freedom are now in a four-game unbeaten streak (five if you count the friendly against the Canadian National Team) and have moved past the Independence to take over second place in the league standings .
Over 3,700 spectators (plus TV and webcast viewers all over) witnessed Rebecca Moros break away from the Independence defense, and perform a give-and-go with Christie Welsh, to score her first goal of the season.
Moros is a new member of the Freedom backline and this was her first goal as a defender.
"It's funny, when you go to the backline and then you look up, and you're really far away from the other goal," said Moros. "But sometimes when we have nice possession I can really get up the field on a jog, and when I get the ball I really can get into a sprint, so it's nice."
Freedom's second goal came after Sonia Bompastor was fouled inside the box by Sara Larsson.
Abby Wambach calmly took the PK and widened the lead to two points.
Wambach now has three goals to her name for this season.
Independence continued to have some opportunities, especially in the second half, but could not finish.
"I think we didn't capitalize. It's all about finishing, and if you can't finish those chances that you get, then the team that does wins the game," said Independence midfielder Joanna Lohman.
In what could be a case of too little, too late, the Independence's English international Lianne Sanderson scored a goal in stoppage time as Freedom goalkeeper Erin McLeod failed to get a good hold of the ball.
The final score was 2-1, Freedom.
A bit of drama in the game as well when Independence midfielder Caroline Seger was shown the red card in the 87th minute for violent conduct.
Seger shoved Freedom midfielder Sarah Huffman in the face as the two battled for the ball. Tempers flared with Seger and Wambach exchanging some choice words.
In time for Memorial Day, the Freedom players wore camouflage jerseys in honor of the men and women who serve in the military.
The club conducted a silent auction during the game where fans could bid on a player's game-worn camo jersey. Proceeds would go to the local USO chapter and to the Freedom Inspires initiative.
"I think it's so cool that we can do this. Anytime we can honor the people who go overseas, and even the people that stay here to protect us," said Freedom captain Cat Whitehill.
"They sacrifice so much and yet I don't even think we understand the half of it. I know that this is just a small appreciation for them but in any way that we can say 'thank you,' I think is so important."
The Freedom will have a chance to take the first place spot in the league standings this weekend when they travel to the Bay Area to play against FC Gold Pride.
The lone west coast team sits atop the standings two points ahead of the Freedom.
PHOTO CREDIT: Charlotte Mace
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