Philadelphia Charge Weekly Media Update
Charge Drop Second Game, Prepare for First Home of 2003
Monday, April 28, 2003
By Greg Wiley
Philadelphia Charge Correspondent
Melanie Hoffmann scored the first goal of her WUSA career on Saturday, but it wasn't enough as the Charge fell to the Boston Breakers, 3-1, at a cold, windy and rainy Nickerson Field. Hoffmann's goal in the 90th minute broke up the chance of the Charge being shutout in consecutive games and ended a 374-minute scoreless drought that dated back to last season and included the playoffs.
The Breakers didn't waste any time, scoring their first goal just three minutes into the match courtesy of Maren Meinert. Rookie Devvyn Hawkins added another goal, her first as a WUSA player, in the 38th minute and Meinert netted her second goal of the game in the 51st minute. With the win, Boston extended its WUSA-record home-unbeaten streak to 12 games (7-0-5).
The Charge will next face the NY Power on May 3 at 4 p.m. at Villanova Stadium. The game will be the home opener for the Charge, who are 3-2-1 all-time versus the Power. Last season Philadelphia went 2-1-0 against New York, losing the final meeting of the season between the two clubs 3-2. The Charge held a 2-0 lead late in the game versus the Power, but New York scored three unanswered goals to end the game and escaped with the victory.
New York's Tiffeny Milbrett, the 2001 winner of the MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards, is the leading scorer all-time against the Charge, registering six goals for 12 points. Pichon, the 2002 recipient of the same two awards, tallied four goals last season versus the Power.
Head coach Mark Krikorian on his team's effort Saturday. "We dug ourselves a bit of a hole tonight, it's a tough one to come back from. Boston has a good team and they did a nice job. I don't think our effort was good enough tonight and Boston took advantage."
Home Field Advantage
After two games on the road to open the season, the Charge return to the friendly confides of Villanova Stadium this weekend. The Charge are 2-0-0 in home openers all-time, winning the 2001 opener 3-2 over Bay Area (San Jose) and posting a 4-2 win over Boston in the 2002 opener. Overall at home, the Charge are an impressive 12-4-5, going 7-1-3 at home last year. Against New York, Philadelphia is 2-1-0 all-time at home.
The Charge have been able to field some of the best international players in the world in their brief history. As a result, international players have combined to score 42 of the team's 72 all-time goals. Frenchwoman Marinette Pichon is the leading international with 14 goals, while former Charge player Liu Ailing of China ended her career second with 12. Englishwoman Kelly Smith is third with eight. German international Melanie Hoffmann, one of the newest members of the team, tallied her first goal on Saturday to increase that total. It also marked the third straight season that an international player scored the team's first goal of the season. In 2001, Doris Fitschen scored the club's first-ever goal and in 2002 Kelly Smith recorded the club's first tally of the year.
April Showers Bring May Wins
At least that's what the Charge would like. With Saturday's loss to the Breakers, the Charge fell to 3-2-1 all-time in the month of April. The team has a solid May record all-time, posting a 6-2-1 mark. As a matter a fact, the Charge have a .500 or better record in all but one month in which they have played. The following is the club's month-by-month all-time record: April: 3-2-1 ~ May: 6-2-1 ~ June: 4-3-3 ~ July: 6-4-3 ~ August: 2-3-2
Dating Back to Last Season
The Charge are 0-4-0 in their last four games dating back to last season, including the playoffs. The club is also riding a four-game road-losing streak dating back to 2002. Over that span the Charge have registered only one goal, which came on Saturday night in the 3-1 setback to the Breakers. Going back even further, the Charge are 0-4-3 in their last seven as the road team.
Scoreless Streak Ends
The Charge ended a 375-minute scoreless streak on Saturday night. Philadelphia, which was shutout 1-0 in the season opener versus the CyberRays, had last scored a goal in the 73rd minute on August 7, 2002 in a 1-1 tie versus San Jose.
The Charge are off to their worst start in franchise history. Never before has the club lost the first two games of its season. The only other time the Charge have dropped consecutive games was on June 17 and June 20, 2001 when they fell to New York and then-Bay Area (San Jose), respectively. Like the first two games of this season, both of those games were also on the road.
Marinette Pichon (right knee) left Saturday's game in the second half and is questionable for this weekend's home opener against New York ... MF Erin Misaki (right knee) is probable.
Media representatives seeking to attend a Charge practice should contact the Charge's PR office at 215-952-5492 to confirm location and times for training.
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