Charge Stay Undefeated and in First Place
Home Opener a Hit as Philly Downs Boston, 4-2
Saturday, May 4, 2002
By Greg Wiley
Philadelphia Charge Correspondent
Three goals in seven minutes bridging the first and second halves powered the Philadelphia Charge to a 4-2 win over the Boston Breakers in the club's 2002 home-opener in front of 6,629 at Villanova Stadium Saturday night. Jennifer Tietjen, Marinette Pichon and Mandy Clemens all scored for Philadelphia, which improved its record to 3-0-0 and keeps the club in a tie for first place in the WUSA with the Carolina Courage.
The Charge have now outscored their opponents 8-3 this season. For the game, the Charge outshot Boston 25 to 11.
Melissa Moore made only one save to improve her record to 3-0. She now has a 1.00 goals-against average this season.
The Charge take the field again on Saturday, May 11 when they battle Mia Hamm and the Washington Freedom starting at 4:00 p.m. at Villanova Stadium. For ticket information call 215-467-GOAL.
Tietjen scored an equalizer in extra time of the first half and her club struck twice more in the opening minutes of the second half en route to the Charge's second come-from-behind victory in a row. Tietjen's tally was set up on assists by Jenny Benson and Kelly Smith.
Philadelphia took the lead right away in the second half when Liu Ailing outraced an opponent to a loose ball and played it ahead for Pichon. Pichon, recently named France's Female Athlete of the Year, put a rocket past Breakers 'keeper Karina LeBlanc for her first-ever goal in a Charge uniform.
But Boston (1-2-1) responded in the 51st minute when U.S. National Team member Kristine Lilly struck with an unassisted goal to knot the contest at 2-2.
The frenzied start to the second half continued in the game's ensuing minute. Clemens galloped down the right side of the field and placed a cross just a few yards in front of the near post. Breakers defender Michaella Rooney attempted to head the ball out of bounds but did so into the net for an own goal and a 3-2 Philadelphia lead. The miscue proved to be the game winner.
Pichon got her first WUSA assist, thereby icing the game, when she set up Clemens with a perfect cross in deep in the 82nd minute
Boston scored the first WUSA goal on the Charge's new turf when Lilly got free inside the box and centered to an unmarked Maren Meinert in the 20th minute. The German-born forward did not hesitate in blasting a shot past Moore.
Philadelphia controlled play for most of the first half, registering 13 shots to the Breakers' seven. Clemens had several opportunities with her closest scoring chance coming when she made a steal from just eight yards out and fired a shot that was punched away by the right hand of a diving Karina LeBlanc, who turned away eight shots for the game.
Philadelphia was forced to play without the services of Chinese newcomer Zhao Lihong, who was held out of the game with what has been diagnosed as a stress reaction in her left foot.
NOTES: Entering the game, all four of Philadelphia's goals this season had been unassisted. Both Smith and Benson assisted on the Charge's first goal of the night... Pichon will leave the team Sunday, May 5 to report for French national team duty and return prior to Philadelphia's next game on May 11 against Washington at 4 p.m. at Villanova Stadium... The Charge have outscored their opponents by an 8-3 margin.
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