By Christa Mann
JUNE 21, 2011
KENNESAW, GA (June 19, 2011) – The Atlanta Beat of Women’s Professional Soccer earned another point at home on Sunday with a scoreless draw against the Boston Breakers in 97 degree heat at KSU Soccer Stadium.
Meghan Lenczyk – Photo is Courtesy of the Atlanta Beat
The match began with a quick pace and physical play as the Beat took control in the early going. Within the first couple minutes, Beat captain Lori Chalupny went down when her head collided with the shoulder of an opposing player. Chalupny was only shaken-up a bit and remained in the match for the entire 90 minutes.
In a slight change in formation, the Beat came out with a three-man attack, starting Kacey White, Megan Jesolva and Chalupny as forwards. The new lineup created three close first half chances for the Beat. Chalupny recorded the first shot for the Beat and the second of the match when she struck a long, driven ball in the 23rd minute. When Beat midfielder White found herself inside the 18 yard box with her back to goal, she hit a low ball that went just wide of the far post in the 31st. Midfielder Angela Salem also had a close attempt in the 36th minute when she connected on Chalupny’s low, driven cross near the penalty spot. Salem’s shot went wide and to the right.
At the half the Beat and Breakers had alternated on shots, keeping the match scoreless and even with three shots apiece.
Nearing the end of the opening half, Beat defender Keeley Dowling went down with an injury after clearing a ball out of the back. Dowling was replaced by Meghan Lenczyk in first half stoppage time.
Early in the second half, the fresh legs from Lenczyk forced some additional pressure on the Breakers defense. Lenczyk struck a dangerous shot from the top right corner of the box in the 50th minute. The shot went just barely wide left of the goal but forced Boston keeper Alyssa Naeher to make a diving save as they went out for a goal kick. Lenczyk led the team in shots, recording three for the Atlanta club.
One minute after Lenczyk’s 50th minute strike, some physical play awarded Breakers midfielder Leslie Osborne a yellow card for a dangerous tackle. At the end of an hard fought battle, the Beat had suffered nine fouls to the Breakers five.
At the end of the match, the Beat held a 3-1 second half advantage in total shots attempted. The home team outshot the Breakers by a 9-6 margin, marking the second time this season they have outshot their opponent. The first came on Saturday, April 9, also against the Boston Breakers, when the Beat have led 14-8 in overall shots fired.
Sunday’s scoreless tie against the Breakers marks the Beat’s second home stalemate of the season after a 2-2 draw against Western New York on Sunday, April 24.
The Beat return to action in just three days as they travel to Sky Blue FC on Wednesday, June 22 at 7:00 p.m. Following the match against Sky Blue, WPS will take a two-week break during the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany as 36 WPS players compete for their home countries.
Atlanta Beat Head Coach James Galanis
Overall thoughts on the game
I’m happy with the way we played. We wanted to win, but we didn’t. I think we played the way we wanted to play by possessing the ball, working off the ball, playing simple, and playing to each other’s feet. We’ve been trying to play good soccer, and I think we’ve been achieving that in bits and pieces. We played 90 minutes and majority of that was good soccer.
Moving Chalupny to the back
We had to switch things up due to Keeley’s injury and I think Analisa stepped in and did great in the middle. Overall we had a fantastic game. I’m proud of the way the back line played. To have someone like Cat back there always communicating and organizing things and by dropping Chalupny, it was the right move for the game. She played there on the Women’s National Team. She was a left back, so I know she can play it. I talked to her about playing her back there before, and she did great. She’s a class act.
The first half was tight. We were knocking on the door. The second half we did alright. We created quality chances, but we didn’t put them away. We moved the ball around well today.
Atlanta Beat Defender Cat Whitehill
Overall defensive play
I’m glad we got a shutout. I’m a defender; so to us, that’s like scoring a goal because we know if we put one away we’re up 1-0. I think it was a great performance. I hope Keeley (Dowling) is okay. That’s one of the most disappointing things to me because we have such great chemistry in the back. I really liked the way we played today. We played it on the ground and we were the dominant team.
Heading to cover the World Cup as a broadcaster
I just want to wish the team good luck. I hope we go up there and give another dominating performance and get a win on the road. We have a little redeeming to do up there. When we traveled up there last time, it was one of our worst games of the season. So, I hope we do well and I’ll be cheering them on from Germany.
Atlanta Beat Midfielder Lori Chalupny
Overall thoughts on the match
We are always searching for the three points, but we’ll take the one. I feel really encouraged by the team’s performance today. We always talk about building on our previous performances, and if we just focus on ourselves, the results will come. I think we improved on our last performance. Its just putting the ball in the back of the net that is the final piece of the puzzle. But overall, I think it was a great performance.
Moving into a defensive role
The back line had a shutout and that’s awesome. We have got to start scoring some goals. I don’t necessarily think that is a weakness; its just something we have to work on. When you build a team, you start from the back and go up, and scoring is the final thing we work on. I think its getting better, but we have just got to keep improving.
Boston Head Coach Tony DiCicco
Overall thoughts on the match
We needed to get points. They need to get points. We wanted to get three points. Even though we are down a lot of players, it was probably the right result. Both teams had some great chances, but I don’t think either team took their chances particularly well. For us, it was a hot game. We haven’t had this type of heat. I thought my team played really hard against a good team and the elements.
Missing several key players to National Team call-ups
We are missing eight national team players; seven of which were starters. We’re missing one of our starters here due to an ACL injury from the first game of the season. We need to keep improving as a team. We have a lot of young players out there. At first, I was hoping for a better result; but like I said before, I think it was a just result.
High points of the match
I thought the keepers and the defense played well, but I think the finishing was below par and that’s how you get a 0-0 result