[WPS] Amy Rodriguez picked the right moment to break out of a month-long slump. The U.S. Olympic gold-medalist scored in
the last minute of overtime to give the expansion Philadelphia Independence a 1-0 win over Washington before a sparse crowd of 2,378 and knock the Freedom out of the playoffs in the first round for
the second year in a row.
Rodriguez, who finished second in scoring behind FC Gold Pride's Marta with 12 goals but was scoreless in Philadelphia's last five games, took a pass from Tina DiMartino -- USC to UCLA -- and beat Ashlyn Harris with a shot to the near post.
Harris, who could do little to stop the shot, had made eight saves to keep the Freedom in the game.
"Harris made at least five big saves, when most games you expect only one or two," said Freedom coach Jim Gabarra. "She certainly played an incredible game."
The Independence, which had lost its last four regular-season games and dropped to third place, advanced to Thursday's Super Semifinal against the Boston Breakers at Harvard's Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium (Fox Soccer Channel, live, 8 p.m. ET).
The Independence dominated the match, outshooting the Freedom, 24-6, and putting nine shots on goal to the Freedom’s zero. But Washington hung in the game on the strength of the heroic performance by the rookie goalkeeper Harris.