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Monkey is off Wambach's back
by Paul Kennedy, April 27th, 2009 7AM



[WPS] After failing to connect on her first 16 shots in her first three Women's Professional Soccer games for the winless Washington, the pressure was mounting on American star Abby Wambach. But she finally came through for the Freedom, opening the scoring against FC Gold Pride on Sunday with a header off a Cat Whitehill cross and breaking a 3-3 tie in stoppage time when she again scored on a header off a Whitehill free kick. The goal sealed the 4-3 win for the Freedom and capped the most exciting game in WPS's young history.
"Everyone can say there's a monkey on my back," said Wambach said, who came into the match with the most shots and shots on goal of anyone in WPS. "I do want to score goals for my team but most importantly I want to win games.  There are still some things to work on - defensively we had a few break downs.  We put some goals in the back of the net today and that's a big reason why we came out on top today."
Wambach assisted Lori Lindsey to put the Freedom up 2-1, and Lindsey then set up Allie Long to increase the lead to 3-1, but the Freedom's leaky defense let the Pride back in the game on goals by Tiffany Weimer and Christine Sinclair to tie the score in the 83rd minute.
"Well, I'd rather win in undramatic fashion but we are glad that we got the result," said Freedom coach Jim Gabarra. "We've been playing well the first couple weeks of the season but we haven't got any bounces and we've given up some tough goals and not put our chances away so it was nice to do so today.  Even though it was the last minute, I thought both teams played well attacking-wise but we are very happy to get the first win."
Kati Jo Spisak make her debut in goal for the Freedom, and Kristin DeDycker, Jill Gilbeau and Rebecca Moros all make their first WPS starts for Washington.

Chicago remained unbeaten with a 4-0 win over Boston. Brittany Klein led the Red Stars with a goal and two assists.

The only other unbeaten team is Los Angeles, which played to a 0-0 tie at St. Louis. The Sol has yet to allow a goal in four games. The point was the first of the season for the Athletica.

The crowds for the weekend's three games averaged less than 4,000, the first time the weekly average fell below the 4,000-6,000 attendance target set by WPS.
April 25 in St. Louis
St. Louis 0 Los Angeles 0.
St. Louis - Solo, Cross (Gray 45), McNeill, Ellertson, Weber, Stoia, Chalupny, Daniela, Woznuk, Tancredi (Pistorius, 71), Hanks (Aluko, 53).
Los Angeles - LeBlanc, Bock, Falk, Franko (Sari 77), Cox, Makoski, Miyami, Boxx, Wagner, Larkin, Welsh (Bogus, 61).
Yellow Cards: St. Louis - McNeill 42, Daniela 45; Los Angeles - Miyami 55, Boxx 85.
Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero.
Att.: 4,228.
April 25 in Bridgeview, Ill.
Chicago 4 Boston 0. Goals: Lloyd (Carney) 21, Rapinoe (Klein) 39, Carney (Klein) 42, Klein (Carney, Tarpley) 52.
Chicago - Jonsson, Dalmy, Dieke, Igwe (Spilger, 75), Krzysik, Klein, Rapinoe, Carney (Garriock, 61; Masar, 70), Ostberg, Tarpley.
Boston - Luckenbill (Lipsher, 62), Mitts, LePeilbet, Weber, Scott, Bishop, Lilly, Hucles, Moore (Chapman, 63), Schmedes, Rodriguez (Latham, 45).
Yellow Cards: Chicago - Dalmy 73, Krzysik 82; Boston - Hucles 30.
Referee: Veronica Brito.
Att.: 4,118.
April 26 in Santa Clara, Calif.
FC Gold Pride 3 Washington 4. Goals: Milbrett (Weimer) 30, Weimer (Wilson) 75, Sinclair (Milbrett) 83; Wambach (Whitehill) 18, Lindsey (Wambach) 51, Long 70, Wambach (Whitehill) 90.
FC Gold Pride - Barnhart, Wilson, Graczyk, Buehler, Robinson (Massengale, 78), Yokers (Sinclair, 60), DiMartino, Osbourne, Weimer, Arakawa, Milbrett.
Washington - Spisak, Singer, Sauerbrunn, Whitehill, Gilbeau, Lindsey, Sawa, DeDycker (De Vanna, 62), Long, Wambach, Moros (Janss, 76).
Referee: Sandra Serafini.
Att.: 3,321.

Los Angeles 3 0 1 5 0 10
Chicago 2 0 2 6 1 8
Boston 2 2 0 6 7 6
FC Gold Pride 1 2 1 6 7 4
Washington 1 2 1 6 9 4
Sky Blue FC 0 1 2 1 3 2
St. Louis 0 2 1 0 3 1

Leading Scorers:
Marta (Los Angeles) 3 goals
Kelly Smith (Boston) 2
Lori Lindsey (Washington) 2
Tiffeny Milbrett (FC Gold Pride) 2
Abby Wambach (Washington) 2
Lindsay Tarpley (Chicago) 2

Saturday, May 2
Boston Breakers vs. Los Angeles Sol, 7 pm ET
Sunday, May 3
FC Gold Pride vs. Sky Blue FC
Washington Freedom vs. Saint Louis Athletica, 6 pm ET (TV: FSC)


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