Charge Lose Season Opener to Cyberrays, 1-0
Saturday, April 5, 2003
By Greg Wiley
Philadelphia Charge Correspondent
Melissa Moore made six saves for the Philadelphia Charge on Saturday night, but it wasn't enough as her team lost to the San Jose CyberRays 1-0 at Spartan Stadium in the season opener for both teams. Katie Barnes scored the lone goal of the game and LaKeysia Beene made five saves for the CyberRays (1-0-0, 3pts), who handed the Charge (0-1-0) their first loss on opening day in three years. Beene now has four wins lifetime against the Charge and three shutouts, as San Jose also improved to 4-0 at home and 4-1-2 overall against the Charge all-time.
Philadelphia had won its two previous season openers by a combined score of 4-0. However, tonight the club had trouble finding the back of the net and began the season where it left off last year.
Including a 1-0 loss last year in the semifinal round of the Founders Cup playoffs, the Charge have gone 286 minutes without a goal. Philadelphia last scored a goal on August 7 when Stacey Tullock registered a tally in the 73rd minute in a 1-1 tie at home against these same CyberRays.
This game also marked the first for San Jose's Mandy Clemens against her former club. Clemens, who was an allocated to Philadelphia prior to the start of the inaugural WUSA season, was traded by the Charge to the CyberRays in the offseason for a first round draft pick.
The Charge began the game without captain and English national team member Kelly Smith in the starting lineup. Smith suffered a season ending knee injury last season and is not yet at 100 percent.
Instead, Mark Krikorian started rookie Deliah Arrington at the forward position and Marinette Pichon, the 2002 WUSA MVP and Offensive Player of the Year, in the midfield.
However, just 26 minutes into the game Krikorian substituted Arrington, replacing her with Czech national team member Pavlina Scasna, who went to the midfield and moved Pichon back to her regular position of forward.
Smith didn't enter the game until the 62nd minute when she replaced Anne Makinen, who was acquired in an offseason trade from Washington.
The only score of the contest came in the 32nd minute when Barnes converted her first goal of the season off assists from Brazilians Katia and Pretinha. Last season, Katia led the WUSA with 36 points.
The CyberRays would carry that 1-0 lead into halftime, as the Charge managed only three shots in the opening 45 minutes with only one coming on goal. In contrast, San Jose unleashed five shots with four on goal.
Charge rookie Mary McVeigh, of Dartmouth, earned her first career start in her first game, beginning the game in central defense. McVeigh was the seventh overall pick in the 2003 WUSA Draft, being selected one slot behind Arrington, who was an All-ACC player at Clemson.
The Charge traveled without goalkeeper Hope Solo, who was their first overall pick in the 2003 draft. Solo is on the injured list with a herniated disc in her lower back. On Thursday, the Charge signed GK Janel Schillig as a supplemental player to replace Solo on the 16-player active roster.
Pichon, who helped the French national team qualify for the 2003 FIFA World Cup in China, has now gone three regular season games without a goal. The dry spell ties the longest goal drought of her WUSA career.
The Charge are now off until April 26 when they face the Boston Breakers at Nickerson Field starting at 7 p.m. (ET). The Charge make their home debut on Saturday, May 3 against the New York Power at 4 p.m. (ET). For ticket information call 215-467-GOAL.
Philadelphia Charge -- Melissa Moore, Jenny Benson, Mary McVeigh, Jennifer Tietjen-Prozzo, Heather Mitts, Stacey Tullock, Lorrie Fair (Alexa Borisjuk 80), Anne Makinen (Kelly Smith 62), Marinette Pichon, Melanie Hoffmann, Deliah Arrington (Pavlina Scasna 26).
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Marinette Pichon 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Melanie Hoffmann 2, Anne Makinen 2); FOULS: 6 (Melanie Hoffmann 3); OFFSIDES: 4 (Marinette Pichon 3); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Melanie Hoffmann 2); SAVES: 6 (Melissa Moore 6)
San Jose CyberRays -- LaKeysia Beene, Keri Sanchez, Brandi Chastain, Thori Bryan, Michelle French, Betsy Barr, Sissi, Mandy Clemens, Katie Barnes (Tisha Venturini-Hoch 66), Katia, Pretinha
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Pretinha 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Katia 3); FOULS: 9 (Katia 3); OFFSIDES: 7 (3 tied with 2); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Sissi 2); SAVES: 5 (LaKeysia Beene 5)
Referee: Mark Arblaster
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