T-120 minutes to kickoff: This is the 2010 WPS Playoffs presented by MedImmune on Bleacher Report, the WPS Fan Corner and the View from Victoria Street. We are now at the Super Semifinal stage of the postseason, and this tie features Paul Riley's Philadelphia Independence and Tony DiCicco's Boston Breakers.
T-90: Boston finished their regular season with a 10-8-6 record (36 points) and are the second seed in this tie at Soldiers' Field, a.k.a. Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Philadelphia ended their season with a 10-10-4 record (34 points) and are the third seed.
The winner of this contest will face FC Gold Pride in the 2010 WPS Championship Game presented by Citi on Sunday, September 26 at Pioneer Stadium on the campus of California State University, East Bay.
T-60: Time to give you the starting line-ups.
The match will take place at a venue on campus known as the Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium, designed exclusively for soccer, also known as the New Harvard Stadium. So yes, I was right on the money to call this field Soldiers' Field.
FIRST HALF START: 5:06 P.M. PT
1' - We are underway in this WPS Super Semifinal.
2' - Some percussion in the background as we going. Breakers clear that chance in Philly's attacking third.
3' - Vocal support, too. Not bad. Alyssa Naeher grabs that chance for Tina DiMartino.
4' - Paul Riley won WPS Coach of the Year honors and Amy LePeilbet earned Defender of the Year.
Here's a free kick for Philly. Holmfridur Magnusdottir's shot, loaded pace, is grabbed by Alyssa Naeher. First big save of the night.
5' - Already we're seeing some action early, and Amy Rodriguez is called back for offsides.
6' -Here's Stephanie Cox, from the Kristine Lilly pass. And now the Breakers go back on possession, but Lilly is unable to get to that one.
7' - Amy LePeilbet, the two-time defending MedImmune Defender of the Year, with the clearance.
8' - Estelle Johnson with the throw-in, and Alex Scott clears that out of danger. It's a standing room only crowd here at Soldiers' Field.
9' - Now it's Fabiana, but Nikki Krzysik is there to make the stop. Back come the Indies, but they are held at bay by the Breakers back line.
10' - Free flowing football in the 10th minute, and we're still scoreless. Here comes a free kick from LePeilbet, but Val Henderson is there for the grab.
11' - Henderson was the backup keeper to Karina LeBlanc, but now has flourished as the starter for the Independence.
Cox with the throw. And here is Jordan Angeli, with Allison Falk marking for a goal kick.
12' - Boston will be wise to keep possession and step up their creativity, as Lori Lindsey clears. Kelly Smith is marked.
13' - Some ambitious touch from Kristine Lilly. The Breakers are biding their time right now with the throw from Lindsay Tarpley. Henderson grabs that one for a goal kick.
14' - A diagonal ball for Fabiana misses the crossbar. Oooh boy, Henderson will thank her luck stars that missed; she was beat.
15' - Boston plays the ball back to Philly, and now the Independence go on the offensive. Lianne Sanderson with the clearance.
16' - Estelle Johnson will not get any breaks from the referees' assistant here. And Henderson pushes that out for the first corner of the match...to the Breakerrs.
17' - Lilly to take, and it's short. Kelly Smith is jammed by Tina DiMartino. Back comes Boston's Alex Scott. and Jordan Angeli will get dinged for the foul; goal kick Henderson.
18' - Scott with the disposession. And now it's Lilly again. Magnusdottir with the mark, and now here's Jen Buczkowski with the ball.
19' - And that chance for Caroline Seger didn't work out too well. Corner nonetheless for the Indies. Side netting for Johnson; goal kick Naeher.
20' - Here's Lindsey, and Ifeoma Dieke clears. This is good action. Naeher snuffs out that service from Krzysik.
21' - Corner now for the Breakers as Tony "The Tiger" DiCicco watches on intently.
Magnusdottie clears the long corner. Boston regroups for their next sequence.
22' - And Smith's delivery is stymied by the Icelandic international, one of the catalysts for Philly this season.
GOAL! Boston Breakers 8 Lauren Cheney, Asist 13 Kristine Lilly
Blown assignments from the Indies backline leads to a 1-0 lead for Boston. Henderson is looking for offsides, but she's not going to get it.
23' - That wasw Cheney's first goal of the playoffs. Corner, as Paul Riley watches in disgust. Lilly to take. Too high, and Dieke is jammed.
24' - And that will go out for a goal kick.
25' - We are now 25 minutes in the match, and Boston leads, 1-0.
26' - Can Philly respond? Here is Stephanie Cox with the clearance. Magnusdottir with the reckless challenge.
27' - If Magnusdottir get a yellow and the Independence rally to win, she will miss the WPS Championship Game. She has been known to be a hard tackler, so she will have to be wise with the challenges. Scott with the ball.
28' - Back come the Breakers. And Seger clears that for a corner.
29' - Too long. And since this an artificial surface, some of the rubber pellets rise.
GOAL! Philadelphia Independence 9 Caroline Seger Assist 25 Tina DiMartino
Ladies and gentlement, we have outselves a game. Good work from Tina DiMartino to set up the equalizer.
30' - We are now 30 minutes in, and this is shaping up to be a dandy. It's 1-1.
31' - Ifeoma Dieke had to bail Alyssa Naeher out. That was a poorly saved ball. Corner, Philadelphia.
32' - Excellent clearance from Kristine Lilly.
33' - Henderson resets. Good skills from Lianne Sanderson.
34' - Paul Riley looks on again, and he must be pleased a bit, albeit he is a manager that wears his emotions on his sleeve. Henderson with the reset.
35' - Well, we have seen a match go to extra time; it's too soon to say, but will this follow suit? Free kick for Philly from the corner of the 18-yard box.
36' - Great kick save from Naeher.
37' - And now it's Sanderson, but LePeilbet clears. Henderson dives on that one; that was going to be a brace for Cheney. Good help from Nikki Krzysik, too.
38' - The percussion goes on as we enter the 38th minute of play. It's 1-1. And now it's Lindsay Tarpley. Philadelphia resets the distribution. Now it's Sanderson with the throw-in.
39' - Dieke put the ball forward, but Kelly Smith is offsides. I've yet to see the England international make an impact as of now.
40' - A chance from Lilly is saved by Henderson for a corner. It's short and cleared by Seger.
41' - And Val Henderson will take that for a goal kick.
42' - THis is trouble for Philly, but Fabiana is unable to get that one to go. Side netting, goal kick for Henderson.
43' - Now the Independence go on the attack. Easy pickings for Alyssa Naeher on the volley from Caroline Seger. LePeilbet asks for her team to step it up.
44' - First-half stoppage time awaits, and it's 1-1. Here's Tarpley, and Holmfridur Magnusdottir clears.
45' - The Icelandic international seems spent. Let's see how many minutes of stoppage time we will have. One minute, the fourth official says.
45' + 1' - One more corner for Boston before the breaLilly to take. k never hurt nobody. Seger clears. And now here's Amy Rodriguez. Her shot was blocked, and she Lianne Sanderson on the wing. Must be overconfidence, that.
And the whistle blows, with both teams heading into the change rooms scoring a goal apiece under a full moon.
SECOND HALF START: 6:10 P.M. PT
46' - The second half is underway. Who will get the advantage this time and meet up with the Pride on Sunday for the spoils?
DiCicco looks on with deep intentions, leaning on the signboards for emphasis.
47' - And here is Kelly Smith, from Fabiana. She passes it to Stephanie Cox. And there, once again, is Holmfridur Magnusdottir to mix things up.
48' - Now Philadelphia sets up the next sequence. Too long a pass from Seger to Sanderson. Goal kick, Naeher.
49' - Smith has been a non-factor this match. This Indies defense has done their homework in closing down the space she has. Naeher will let that chance from Amy Rodriguez roll out for a goal kick.
50' - The Breakers keeper walks on a tightrope early. Henderson with the grab underneath Boston's supporters percussion section.
51' - Another snatch for Val Henderson. Now it's Jen Buczkowski. And the ensemble is getting some camera time. Muito bom.
52' - Fabiana again comes up short. Goal kick for Henderson.
53' - Lianne Sanderson is called offsides. Amy LePeilbet with the free kick.
54' - Tina DiMartino is a pinch in the Indies' attacking third. And Seger's first touch was lacking. Thank you very much for the lack of touch, says Alyssa Naeher with the snatch.
55' - Amy Rodriguez is starting to feel a bit disgusted by the lack of offense generated from the team, and understandably so. But the best teams will soldier on nonetheless.
56' - Rodriguez had to shake her head after squandering two easy, straight open net opportunities. The question now is, will Boston capitalize later on in this game?
57' - Here's throw-in for Boston. By the way, the legendary Kari Seitz is officiating tonight, and I will not be surprised if she will be officiating on Sunday. One of the best women referees in the game, bar none.
58' - We are 58 minutes in, and it's still 1-1. Here comes Alex Scott. Kelly Smith is trying to get some help, but to no avail.
59' - LePeilber clears. But now the Indies are gaining possession, and this is going to look much better for them if they can get a goal from it.
60' - That was too long, and Henderson will take that as we enter the hour mark. Scott with the throw. And now it's Ifeoma Dieke.
61' - Estelle Johnson puts the ball back into play.
62' - Here come the Breakers, but no one was in the vicinity of that Kristine Lilly pass.
63' - Buczkowski with the foul. We could see Danesha Adams later on in this game for Philly. Here's a free kick for Kelly Smith. Cleared by Nikki Krzysik.
64' - Lauren Cheney jammed by a sea of gold jerseys. Back come the Independence. And another shot from Rodriguez goes wide. Goodness, she is not having a great night, that's for sure. Goal kick, Naeher.
65' - And in the battle of Amy vs. Amy, LePeilbet marks Rodriguez with precision.
66' - Philadephia on the offensive one more time. Now it's Magnusdottir. Tina DiMartino was offsides.
67' - Paul Riley urges his troops forward here at Soldiers' Field. Jordan Angeli with the clearance. And here comes a card.
Yellow card 4 Jen Buczkowski
68' - That was a reckless foul right there. Worth the piece of cheese. Free kick. Henderson goes was off her line to snatch that one up.
69' - This is the positional minute, and it's still 1-1.
70' - Free kick for Lori Lindsey, but it's easily blocked. Sanderson will be feeling that one.
71' - Back comes Boston. And a chance for Cheney goes instead to Henderson. It's been a defensive feast this half.
72' - Rodriguez's miserable night continues as the Breakers regain possession.
73' - Substitution Boston Breakers
IN 25 Taryn Hemmings
OUT 15 Fabiana
Substitution Philadelphia Independence
IN 19 Danesha Adams
OUT 10 Lianne Sanderson
74' - Goal kick for Henderson. And the defensive standoff continues.
75' - 75 minutes into the Super Semifinal, and it's still 1-1. Buczkowski is feeling a bit shaken up right now.
76' - Throw-in for the Breakers' Stephanie Cox.
77' - You can feel the sense of urgency now as both sides search for the winner. Here's Taryn Hemmings with the throw-in. Tough sletting for Lauryn Cheney.
78' - Pass for Hemmings botched by Smith. Cheney is just getting jammed as we go along in this one.
79' - This is Danesha Adams. She is fouled, but that's not gonna be a penalty. Play on, says Kari Seitz.
80' - Breakers clear. And now it's Dieke, then Lilly as Boston bides their time. Now it's Naeher anticipating the counter from the Philadelphia Independence, who are still in a 1-1 deadlock with the rivals from Soldiers' Field.
81' - Back come the Breakers. We could be heading into extra time down here at good ol' Soldiers' Field.
82' - Wide shot from Taryn Hemmings. Not sure about that selection. It will be a goal kick for Val Henderson.
83' - Paul Riley looks on with a cool, composed expression. Now it's Stephanie Cox, but Val Henderson grabs. It's become a defensive showcase this second half. The boo birds rain out on that tackle.
84' - That chance for Amy Rodriguez didn't work out. And has been having a horrid night finishing. It just hasn't been her game. COmplete about-face of Her First Round performance.
85' - 85 minutes in, and as Naeher dishes out that goal kick, Magnusdottir is called for the foul. It's still 1-1, but Kelly Smith is threatening with this free kick.
Seems to me that Cheney and Rodriguez are going through an off night.
86' - But as this corner comes to place, you can be sure that the Lionesses of the East Bay are looking at this with game intentions.
87' - Estelles Johnson marks Lauren Cheney, and now it's Alex Scott, marked by Tina DiMartino.
88' - Back comes Caroline Seger. And that pass didn't work out too well for Kelly Smith.
89' - I have a gut feeling this will go into extra time. It's not been a half of great finishes, if any.
Another shot for Smith goes over the bar. I told you this was not a half of great finishes.
90' - There will be three minutes of stoppage time. Here is Alex Scott, but Holmfridur Magnusdottir grabs that.
Here is Caroline Seger, but that won't work.
90' + 1' - Taryn Hemmings did not have enough air on that one, and Lindsay Tarpley was horrid on the follow-through.
90' + 2' - Good stuff from Ifeoma Dieke, marking Amy Rodriguez.
90' + 3' - That's it for regulation. We're heading into extra time again.
FIRST EXTRA TIME START: 7:04 P.M.
91' - The first period of extra time begins. Paul Riley is asking his players directly for more, while Tony DiCicco elects to delegate that to the training staff. Which method will work the best? Let's find out.
A bit too much hesitation from Kelly Smith. But this will be a Breakers corner.
92' - Lilly to take. But contact inside the box will force a goal kick.
Substitution Philadelphia Independence
IN 2 Heather Mitts
OUT 26 Holmfridur Magnusdottir
93' - So now, if Philly rallies, she will be on the pitch of Pioneer on Sunday. Corner for the Lori Lindsey. Mitts has experience for penalty kicks, so again, the tactic from last time is implemented this time.
94' - Goal kick, Alyssa Naeher. Danesha Adama tried to get to that ball, but too long.
95' - And here comes Jen Buczkowski, and that won't work. Goal kick for Naeher.
96' - A chance for Lilly is intercepted by Henderson. End-to-end action with Naeher taking that one. Goal kick.
97' - Foul on Mitts. Free kick for Boston. It's Stephanie Cox to take. Punched away by the UCLA product. Lauren Cheney is shaken up but is otherwise all right.
98' - This is Soldiers' Field, and we are seeing all 22 of them make their mark tonight. Estelle Johnson with the tackle on Taryn Hemmings.
99' - And here is a free kick for the Breakers. Cox was too low on that volley.
100' - Love the anticipation from the Indies. And Danesha Adams has yet to make an impact as Alyssa Naeher grabs.
101' - Some chants from The Dock. And oh dear, Adams had a chance to give Philly the lead. It's so easy to send those would-be tap-ins high and over the crossbar, you won't even know you're doing it till you see it and it's too late.
102' - 102 minutes in as Naeher clears. It's still 1-1.
103' - Boy, Boston has been tenacious defensively.
GOAL! Philadelphia Independence 19 Danesha Adams
Hand of God revisited? Or was that a header? Either way, this will spark the rivalry next year.
104' - I bet you that if you were to talk to anybody in Beantown bleeding Breaker Blue, you will be certain to get the response that it was Hand of God Revisited.
105' - Philly get the ascendancy right now, and they are 15 minutes away from destiny.
SECOND EXTRA TIME START: 7:22 P.M. PT
106' - The fans have been treated to some world-class football, but we have a winner to determine from this match. Let's see what happens.
The Breakers are now on the ropes, and Alyssa Naeher is a keeper searching for answers in this juncture of the contest.
I will confess that controversy we, as members of the media, love to stir up. It makes the world go round and ensures that we are doing are job, regardless of anyone saying otherwise.
Henderson will grab that ball, and it will be a goal kick.
Substitution Boston Breakers
IN 16 Laura Del Rio
OUT 14 Stephanie Cox
107' - Tony DiCicco is wondering just what the heck is going on.
Another off shot for Rodriguez. No support in the front for her. This could be trouble on Sunday. Although, at this rate, the Icelandic ironwoman known Holmfridur Magnusdottir will be on the pitch at Pioneer.
108' - 108 minutes in, and it's still 2-1 Philadelphia Independence over Boston Breakers.
Substitution Boston Breakers
IN 17 Kasey Moore
OUT 10 Kelly Smith
109' - Hooo boy, and unless the Breakers can equalize, this could be a tough loss for them to swallow.
110' - Philly seems to be content to go to the bunker at this point in the match.
111' - Less than nine minutes to go in extra time.
112' - Time is becomingn of the essence.
113' - Unbelievable. A shot off the crossbar and a terrible follow-through for Alex Scott. This has been the epitome of the night. You gotta feel for her...unless you're from City of Brotherly Love, that is.
114' - 114 minutes have passed, it's 2-1 Philadelphia. Great defense on that sequence for the Indies.
115' - This is nervous time for Boston.
Substitution Philadelphia Independence
IN 18 Kelly Henderson
OUT 8 Amy Rodriguez
116' - Here's Ifeoma Dieke, and that deliver for Jordan Angeli misses the mark. Goal kick, Val Henderson.
117' - Both side jostling for the ball in the Indies' defensive half. Henderson will grab that.
118' - A long free kick on the way for Kasey Moore.
119' - Here's another free kick to the Breakers, and that is taken by Val Henderosn. Boy, she has been on a roll under the full moon tonight.
120' - Philadelphia will melt the clock a bit more as one minute of stoppage time is added from fourth official Moo Hackett.
120' + 1' - That's a wrap. And Philadelphia is through!
And so it will be FC Gold Pride taking on the Philadelphia Independence on Sunday. We got ourselves one unforgettable finale to one unforgettable season.
Stay tuned later this weekend for the Play-By-Play (and Other Miscellany) of the Championship on the View, the Fan Corner and b/r.