Smith's Last-Minute Penalty-kick Goal Lifts Charge to Victory
Philly improves to 2-0 behind strong play from Pichon
Saturday, April 27, 2002
By Greg Wiley
Philadelphia Charge Correspondent
Kelly Smith's penalty kick goal in the 89th minute proved to be the game-winner as the Philadelphia Charge defeated the New York Power, 2-1, at Mitchel Athletic Complex Saturday night. Mary-Frances Monroe also scored, registering her first WUSA goal, for the Charge, who improved to 2-0 and remained in a tie for first place in the league with six points.
Smith's goal was setup when Power goalkeeper Saskia Webber was red carded for taking down Marinette Pichon on a breakaway in the box. The penalty led to the game-winning goal by Smith, who beat Webber's replacement Nicole Williams to the left. Webber made three saves as she was facing her old club for the first time since being traded to New York from Philadelphia in the off-season.
Philadelphia's Melissa Moore made three saves for the Charge, who moved to 2-1-1 all-time against the Power. Smith now has two goals this season, having also registered a goal in Philadelphia's season-opener.
"We're off to a great start," Charge Head Coach Mark Krikorian said. "Pichon played well tonight, helping us to victory. Our brand of soccer is exciting to watch. We came out and hustled tonight. This was a nice win and now we can return home, where we should play even better."
Philadelphia will make its home debut next time out on Saturday, May 4 at Villanova Stadium. The Charge will battle the Boston Breakers starting at 7 p.m. when the first 2,000 kids 14 and under in attendance will receive a limited edition Lorrie Fair Bobblehead Doll. For ticket information call 215-467-GOAL of visit PhiladelphiaCharge.com for more information.
The Charge had to play the game without starting forward Mandy Clemens and starting midfielder Lorrie Fair. Both players were called up the U.S. national team for a match tonight against Finland in San Jose, Calif.
Just 17 minutes into the game the Power got on the board first. Emily Stauffer sent a lofted pass up the middle of the Charge defense and from 18 yards out, Emily Janns volleyed the ball over the head of Moore and into the back of the net.
The Power's Ronnie Fair also recorded an assist on the goal, which was the first the Charge has allowed in 107 minutes this season. Philadelphia had shutout the Atlanta Beat on April 13 in the club's first game of the season. Ronnie Fair is the twin sister of Philadelphia's Lorrie Fair.
The Charge responded at the 32-minute mark when Monroe put home a loose ball following a corner kick by midfielder Zhao Lihong. Zhao laced the corner into the six-yard box, causing confusion, as Erica Iverson and Jennifer Tietjen forced Webber to punch the ball instead of catching it. Webber couldn't get a good touch on the ball and Frances put home the loose ball from the penalty spot.
The goal was the first for Monroe, who was the second-round pick by the Charge in this year's WUSA Draft out of UCLA. Monroe, who had spent three years at UConn prior to transferring to UCLA, was born on Long Island (West Islip, NY) and spent most of her childhood there before moving to Connecticut.
In the second half, the Charge had a chance to take the lead just four minutes in when Jenny Benson took the ball into the box and fed Kerry Connors, who from the penalty spot missed wide right. Liu Ailing had a chance to put home Connors' shot from the doorstep, but the ball skipped over her and went out of bounds.
Connors was acquired by the Charge from the Power in the preseason in exchange for defender Kalli Kamholz.
New York also had a chance in the 78th minute when Linda Ormen took a through pass and from 35 yards out just missed the gall wide right as Moore left the penalty area to contest the breakaway opportunity.
The pace picked up in the final 10 minutes of action. The Charge took advantage of the quick pace, tiring out the Power, who feel to 1-2 this season.
NOTES: The Power had to play without Tiffeny Milbrett, the WUSA's MYP from last season, who was with Lorrie Fair and Clemens in San Jose with the U.S. national team. Milbrett in the Power's leading goal scorer against the Charge, recording four goals last season in the three games against Philly ... Erin Martin entered the game in the 67th minute for Connors. Both players were seeing their first action of the 2002 season ... Smith has two goals all-time versus the Power ... All four of the Charge's goal this season have come unassisted.
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