WUSA: Pickup, Fleeting lead Spirit past toothless CyberRays

Kim Pickup's famed ''flip-throw'' led to the winning goal Sunday as San Diego beat toothless San Jose, 2-1, before 5,965 at Torero Stadium.

Julie Fleeting scored one goal and played a role in the winner as the Spirit (2-1, 6 points) rallied from a second-half deficit and moved above .500 for the first time in club history.

Fleeting was dominant up top for San Diego, taking eight shots -- six on target -- and keeping the CyberRays' backline on its heels much of the second half.

The Spirit took charge after Tisha Venturini-Hoch fired San Jose (1-2, 3 points) ahead with a nifty shot to the upper-left from a Sissi feed four minutes into the second half.

Fleeting evened the score five minutes later, first-timing from the top of the 6-yard box a superb cross from Shannon MacMillan.

Pickup's 61st-minute winner -- officially an own goal by San Jose goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene -- concluded a nine-minute span in which the Spirit created eight strong chances and scored both goals.

Pickup's ''flip-throw'' -- a throw-in in which she somersaults head over heels and back to her feet, generating force to heave the ball into the goalmouth a la a corner kick -- was tipped by Beene as she was jostled by Fleeting, who was trying to get her head on the throw.

The ball bounced insidethe far post as several CyberRays' defenders frantically tried to knock it from danger.

Beene had a solid match, making a pair of diving saves on Fleeting shots and parrying a Shannon MacMillan blast during the Spirit's onslaught.

San Jose struggled in attack -- forwards Katia and Pretinha were in Peru with the Brazilian national team for the South American qualifying tournament for next fall's World Cup. Mandy Clemens offered little and Christina Bell battled hard with little success, and CyberRays coach Ian Sawyers moved defenders Brandi Chastain and Keri Sanchez to the front line in search of a tying goal.

Defender Thori Bryan, slowed by the effects of an illness she picked up at last week's U.S. women's national team training camp, took herself out of the match in the 78th minute. Bryan had played every minute of every previous CyberRays' match, 46 in all.


April 27 at San Diego

San Diego 2 San Jose 1. Goals: Fleeting (MacMillan, Latham) 54, own goal Beene 61; Venturini-Hoch (Sissi, Cook) 49.

San Diego -- Pagliarulo; Pickup, Fawcett, Krzykowski; Foudy, Connors; Latham, Wagner (Fair, 86), Zhang (Sullivan, 55); MacMillan, Fleeting.

San Jose -- Beene; Sanchez, Bryan (Lindsey, 78), Chastain, French; Barr, Cook (Carter, 91+), Sissi; Venturini-Hoch; Clemens (Cromwell, 65), Bell (Alagich, 72).

Yellow cards -- None.

Referee -- David Simon.

A -- 5,965.


1. Washington 3-0-1 10 points (8-3 GF-GA)
2. Boston 3-1-0 9 (8-9)
3. Atlanta 2-0-1 7 (12-1)
4. San Diego 2-1-0 6 (5-3)
5. San Jose 1-2-0 3 (2-5)
6. New York 1-3-0 3 (4-11)
7. Philadelphia 0-2-0 0 (1-4)
8. Carolina 0-3-0 0 (3-8)

Washington 1 Atlanta 1
Boston 3 Philadelphia 1
Carolina 1 New York 3

San Diego 2 San Jose 1

Saturday, May 3
New York at Philadelphia, 4 p.m. (PAX TV)
San Diego at Boston, 6:30 p.m.
San Jose at Atlanta, 7 p.m.

All times Eastern


1. Maribel Dominguez (Atlanta) 5-2--12
2. Mia Hamm (Washington) 3-2--8
Maren Meinert (Boston) 4-0--8
4. Jacqui Little (Washington) 2-2--6
Dagny Mellgren (Boston) 2-2--6
6. Homare Sawa (Atlanta) 2-1--5
7. Abby Crumpton (Atlanta) 2-0--4
Julie Fleeting (San Diego) 2-0--4
Danielle Fotopoulos (Carolina) 1-2--4
Charmaine Hooper (Atlanta) 1-2--4
Shannon MacMillan (San Diego) 1-2--4
Tiffeny Milbrett (New York) 2-0--4
Birgit Prinz (Carolina) 2-0--4
14. Kylie Bivens (Atlanta) 1-1--3
Monica Gonzalez (Boston) 1-1--3
Devvyn Hawkins (Boston) 1-1--3
Shannon MacMillan (San Diego) 1-1--3

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