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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (May 14, 2010) – FC Gold Pride (5-1-0, 15 points) won its fifth straight game, a new WPS record, by defeating the Boston Breakers (1-2-3, 6 points), 2-1, Friday evening at Harvard Stadium in front of 5,283 fans. Brazilian star Marta scored both goals for the Bay Area side.
"This was a difficult game on the road because we played a very tough team in front of a great home crowd, we were fortunate enough to put two goals away," said FC Gold Pride Head Coach Albertin Montoya. "They came at us hard and scored a tying goal, but our defense was excellent in the second half and prevented them from getting another one."
The scoring started in the 15th minute as Tiffeny Milbrett sent Marta a through ball that put her one-v-one against Breakers goalkeeper Ashley Phillips. Marta beat Phillips to score her second goal of the season.
FC Gold Pride’s lead was short lived as the Breakers knotted the score in the 22nd minute. Despite being dragged down by a FC Gold Pride defender, Boston forward Lauren Cheney was able to slot the ball to teammate Kelly Smith who tapped it into the net. The goal was Smith’s team-leading third of the season.
Marta scored the game winner when midfielder Solveig Gulbrandsen knocked a ball behind Breakers defender Alex Scott, and Marta burst into a speedy angled run for a one-on-one with Phillips, sending the ball swiftly into the goal.
“It’s hard to neutralize Marta,” said Boston Breakers head coach Tony DiCicco. “We said we have to be good getting in behind, so we double-teamed her on the flanks and unfortunately she got in behind us twice and beat us there.”
Coming out with high energy, both teams had scoring opportunities right off the first whistle. Marta hit a shot a few inches to the right of the goal in the fourth minute, and just three minutes later, Boston's Tiffany Weimer sent Smith a through ball which she dribbled past FC Gold Pride 'keeper Nicole Barnhart and crossed to the top of the six, but the ball was cleared. The two chances turned out to foreshadow the goals that followed.
With Boston fighting hard for another equalizer, the second half ended scoreless, but not without some close chances. In the 50th minute, Weimer slotted a pass to Cheney, who turned a defender and shot the ball just wide to the left. Then in the 71st minute, Boston midfielder Fabiana got a good look on goal, also hitting it slightly left.
While battling hard to find another goal, Boston's Kelly Smith received a caution in the 70th minute after going studs up in a challenge with FC Gold Pride's Kandace Wilson. Pride forward Christine Sinclair and Breaker midfielder Leslie Osborne also drew yellow cards in the 76th minute and 85th minute, respectively.
With the victory, FC Gold Pride remains in first place in the WPS standings. The rest of the weekend’s WPS results will determine Boston’s place in standings, however; they will not be able to rise above fifth place heading into Week Seven. Boston has yet to win at home, and hasn’t walked away with a victory since the season opener on April 10th against Washington.
“We're building,” said Boston Breakers co-captain Leslie Osborne. “We're figuring it out and we're coming together. We know the last piece that's going to fall in place is scoring those goals and finishing those chances.”
Both teams have next weekend off as WPS takes a break due to a U.S. Women’s National Team friendly versus Germany and Asian 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying. The Breakers are back in action on Saturday, May 29 as they travel to northeast rival Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY) at 7pm ET. FC Gold Pride, meanwhile, also hits the road on Saturday, May 29 as they play in Chicago against the Red Stars at 8pm ET.