It appeared as if Sky Blue FC would get the draw on the road against the league leaders, but Marta had other ideas. She broke the deadlock in the 80th minute when she ran onto a long ball behind the defense, avoided goalkeeper Jenni Branam and scored into the vacated net.
U.S. national team striker Natasha Kai had to be stretchered off minutes later after a collision with Los Angeles Sol goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, who earned her sixth shutout in seven games.
Canadian international Christine Sinclair scored her second goal of the season on a rebound to lead FC Gold Pride to a 1-0 win at Chicago on Saturday night. The win moved the Pride past the Red Stars into third place.
"I think as a team we've come a long away," said Sinclair. "I think it's really difficult to start a team from scratch. You know you don't know how players are going to gel with each other. I know off the field we got a great group and we all get along so well. It's starting to show on the field as well. I think the quality is getting better and better every week because we've been around each other longer. Hopefully that continues throughout the season."
Rebecca Moros, making her second start of the season in place of the suspended Abby Wambach, scored for Washington in its 1-1 tie with Boston.
"Without Abby, it offered the opportunity for other players to step up," Freedom coach Jim Gabarra said, "and she took the opportunity pretty well along with Lisa [De Vanna] and Allie [Long]."
May 15 in Carson, Calif.
Los Angeles 1 Sky Blue FC 0. Goal: Marta (Abily) 80.
Los Angeles - LeBlanc, Bock, Falk, Franko, Cox, Abily, Boxx, Miyama, Wagner (Bogus, 61), Duan, Marta.
Sky Blue FC - Brenham, Rampone, Asante, Schnur, Sitch, Parker, McCallum (Averbuch, 58), Dowling, Kai (Buczkowski, 84), O'Reilly, Rosana (White, 67).
Referee: Margaret Domka.
May 16 in Bridgeview, Ill.
Chicago 0 FC Gold Pride 1. Goal: Sinclair 30.
Chicago - Jonsson, Dalmy (Igwe, 61), Krzysik, Dieke, Carney, Lloyd, Ostberg, Klein (Oakes, 69), Rapinoe, Tarpley (Masar, 79), Cristiane.
FC Gold Pride - Barnhart, Buehler, Dew, Robinson, Adriane (Graczyk, 61), Formiga (Weimer, 82), Osborne, DiMartino (Arakawa, 72), Milbrett, Sinclair, Wilson.
Yellow Cards: Chicago - Klein 63; FC Gold Pride - Graczyk 66.
Referee: Kari Seitz.
May 17 in Cambridge, Mass.
Boston 1 Washington 1. Goals: Scott (Latham) 49; Moros (De Vanna) 33.
Boston - Luckenbill, Scott, LePeilbet, Weber, Mitts, Hucles, Lilly, Bishop (Chapman, 79), Smith, Schmedes, Latham (Rodriguez, 64).
Washington - McLeod, Gilbeau, Whitehill, Singer, Sauerbrunn, Lindsey, Bompastor, Sawa, Long, De Vanna (Lohman 62, Moros (Zimmeck, 82).
Yellow Cards: Boston - Weber 15, Latham 52; Washington - Singer 74.
TEAM W L T GF GA P
Los Angeles 4 1 2 7 2 14
Boston 3 2 2 9 9 11
FC Gold Pride 3 3 1 8 8 10
Chicago 2 2 2 6 4 8
Washington 1 2 3 10 13 6
St. Louis 1 2 2 4 6 5
Sky Blue FC 1 3 2 3 5 5
Kelly Smith (Boston) 4
Marta (Los Angeles) 4
Daniela (St. Louis) 2
Lori Lindsey (Washington) 2
Kristine Lilly (Boston) 2
Tiffeny Milbrett (FC Gold Pride) 2
Lindsay Tarpley (Chicago) 2
Sonia Bompastor (Washington) 2
Abby Wambach (Washington) 2
Christine Sinclair (FC Gold Pride) 2
Saturday, May 23
Chicago vs. Saint Louis, 8:30 pm ET
Washington vs. Sky Blue FC, 4:30 pm ET
Sunday, May 24
FC Gold Pride vs. Los Angeles, 7 pm ET (FSC)