WUSA Preseason: C-Rays stomp Storm; Beijing takes Charge

After a slow start, the Bay Area CyberRays thrashed the WPSL's Sacramento Storm, 8-1, on March 17 in Aptos, Calif. The match, played on the campus of Cabrillo College, was scoreless until the C-Rays figured out how to get behind the Storm defense, which limited the WUSA club to long-range shots in the early going. Katia broke the deadlock in the 24th minute, taking a Kelly Wilson cross from the right side and heading the ball past diving goalkeeper Iliana Moskoff. One minute later, the Brazilian striker took a through ball from Brandi Chastain, forged into the Storm's penalty area, rounded Moskoff and slotted the ball into an empty net. Goals by Megan Horvath and Theresa Wagner put the C-Rays ahead, 4-0, at halftime. Coach Ian Sawyers, who needs to pare his squad down to between 20 and 24 players by tomorrow (March 18), made wholesale changes at halftime. California product Tami Pivnick, who mostly played in central defense, was the only C-Ray to play the whole game. Sawyers' club added four more goals -- from Tisha Venturini and Jacqui Little and two from Sissi -- in the second half, though the Storm's Vanessa Talbott scored in the 66th minute to avoid a shut out. Talbott, who ended her college career at Portland last fall, stole the ball from Thori Bryan near the top of the Bay Area's penalty area and fired a shot to the far left post and well past substitute goalkeeper Janine Szpara. Sawyers and his coaching staff now must decide who to cut and whether to use the first pick in the waiver draft. If they cut down to 20 players, the C-Rays will pick first in the March 20 draft. "We have to take into consideration how we want to play, at what speed we want to play, what the players' strengths are of the players who are on the bubble," Saywers said. "Very difficult decisions." The Bay Area awaits word from the league office about an injured reserve list. The club wants to know if it can put its two injured players -- Lauren Molinaro and Linda Kurtyka -- on such a list, which would help determine how many players it will cut. Charge loses to Chinese club Beijing FC finally won a game on its tour of the West Coast, edging Philadelphia, 2-1, in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., on March 16. Kelly Smith's 85th-minute penalty was the only goal for the Charge, which gave up Beijing goals in the 35th and 70th minutes. "This game was a very good learning experience for us,ö said Charge coach Mark Krikorian. ôThere were a lot of positives and itÆs a good foundation for us to build on. The score doesnÆt matter to me, how we played is important." Goalkeeper Saskia Webber and midfielder Rebekah McDowell sat out due to quadriceps injuries, while midfielder Michelle Demko did not see any action. Beijing, which has lost to the CyberRays, 3-0, and to the New York Power, 3-1, on this trip, is the former club of Charge midfielder Liu Ailing. Krikorian makes cuts The Philadelphia coach didn't wait till March 18 to reduce his roster. He waived goalkeepers Laurie Pells and Angela Harrison, midfielder Tracey Spinelli and forwards Beth Keller and Courtney Saunders. The Charge also announced that former Mexico midfielder Laurie Hill has decided to leave camp due to personal reasons. The roster now stands at 20 players -- four under the league limit -- heading into TuesdayÆs waiver draft.
Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications