California, Utah advance to WPSL championship

Stacie Alberico and Valerie Williams scored goals late in the first half and defending champion California Storm rallied to win its Women's Premier Soccer League semifinal Saturday at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.

The Storm topped the New England Mutiny, 3-1, and will face the Utah Spiders -- 3-1 winners over Ajax Southern California -- in Sunday's title game at Kezar.

Alberico tallied in the 41st minute, her 11th goal of the season, and Williams struck in the 44th as the Sacramento-based Storm turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2--1 halftime lead. Katie Tate added a goal in the 61st minute.

The Mutiny, a former W-League club playing its first season in the WPSL, went ahead on Rachel LeDuc's 35th-minute goal.

Utah stunned Ajax, last year's runner-up, with two goals in the first 10 minutes and owned a 3-0 advantage by the 26th minute. Sara Redding scored in the seventh, Amber Brower in the 10th and Megan Mattes in the 26th for the Spiders.

Former Canadian national-teamer Isabelle Harvey scored Ajax's goal in the 69th minute.

Utah gained the wild-card berth to the WPSL final four when the Denver Diamonds -- the wild-card qualifiers -- were unable to pay their league dues nor arrange a flight to the Bay Area in time for Saturday's matches.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications