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Event Spotlight:
Charge Season Ends With 3-2 Overtime Loss At Atlanta In WUSA Semifinals

Saturday, August 18, 2001

By Al Cohen
Philadelphia Charge Correspondent

The Atlanta Beat ended the surprising season of the Philadelphia Charge Saturday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium as Cindy Parlow scored two goals, including the game-winner 11 minutes into overtime in a 3-2 victory.

Kelly Smith and Mandy Clemens each scored three minutes apart midway through the first half to give Philadelphia a 2-0 lead. The score held up heading into halftime before Atlanta forced the extra session with two second-half tallies and moved onto the inaugural WUSA Championship Game thanks to Parlow's goal in the 101st minute of play. The top-seeded Beat will now take on the second-seeded Bay Area CyberRays for the title next Saturday, Aug. 25 at 2:00 p.m. ET at Foxboro Stadium outside of Boston.

Philadelphia assumed a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute following a delayed yellow card call on Atlanta's Amy Walsh. Defender Jennifer Tietjen threw the ball into Clemens, who flicked it back to Smith just outside the goalmouth. The English National Team member chest trapped the ball and then easily blasted it into the back of the net.

The Charge continued the pressure and struck again in the 36th minute. Midfielder Liu Ailing set up the play with a nice pass out wide to Michelle Demko. The midfielder one-timed a perfect cross to Clemens, who headed it past Beat goalkeeper Briana Scurry from eight yards out. The two first-half goals were one more than the Charge had scored in three entire games vs. Atlanta during the regular season.

Atlanta managed just two shots on goal during the first half, but gained the momentum in the 67th minute when Philadelphia defender Heather Mitts was called for a foul while going for a loose ball against Beat forward Charmaine Hooper inside the penalty box. A penalty kick was awarded to Atlanta and Sun Wen knocked it in to narrow the deficit to 2-1.

The Beat evened the score in the 79th minute on a corner kick by Wen. Philadelphia goalkeeper Melissa Moore lined up the cross, but had the wet ball slip through her hands straight to Parlow, who alertly headed it in.

Parlow had a chance seven minutes into overtime, but her header off a corner kick bounced over the goal. Charge midfielder Rakel Karvelsson missed a golden opportunity in the 99th minute when her volley shot from 10 yards away sailed over the crossbar. Two minutes later, the Beat set up for a free kick that turned out to be the game-winning play.

Defender Sharolta Nonen took the kick seven yards inside the midfield stripe and launched it into the penalty box. Moore came off her line to try and punch it away, but got tangled up in the pack and fell. The ball wound up heading straight to Parlow, who trapped it, turned and fired a left-footed shot that hit the post and bounced into the net.

Parlow finished with eight shots on the night and notched her third goal of the year against the Charge, who lost twice and tied two games vs. Atlanta. Moore totaled four saves, while Scurry had two. Philadelphia was outshot, 15-9, and did not have an attempt on goal after halftime.

Philadelphia Charge
Atlanta Beat

Scoring Summary:
PHI - Kelly Smith 1 (Clemens 1, Tietjen 1)33.
PHI - Mandy Clemens 1 (Demko 1, Ailing 1)36.
ATL - Sun Wen 1 (penalty kick)67.
ATL - Cindy Parlow 1 (Wen 1)79.
ATL - Cindy Parlow 2 (Nonen 1)101.

CHARGE - Melissa Moore, Heather Mitts, Erica Iverson, Jennifer Tietjen, Jenny Benson, Michelle Demko (Laurie Schwoy, 67), Kelly Smith (Rebekah McDowell, 98), Lorrie Fair, Liu Ailing (Deidre Enos, 88), Rakel Karvelsson, Mandy Clemens. TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Smith 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (4 players with 1); FOULS: 19 (Clemens, Tietjen 4); OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: Moore 4; CAUTIONS: Mitts 62, Schwoy 80, Clemens 84.

BEAT - Briana Scurry, Lisa Krzykowski, Dayna Smith (Kelly Cagle, 92), Sharolta Nonen, Nancy Augustyniak, Amy Walsh (Kylie Bivens, 46), Nikki Serlenga, Julie Augustyniak (Sun Wen, 46), Homare Sawa (Nikki Lamb, 90), Cindy Parlow, Charmaine Hooper. TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Parlow 8); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Parlow 3); FOULS: 19 (Serlenga, Hooper 4); OFFSIDE: 5; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: Scurry 2; CAUTIONS: Walsh 33, Serlenga 76.

Referee: Ricardo Salazar; Referee's Assistants: Brenda Wright & Steven Davidson
Attendance: 12,138; Weather: Cloudy, Rain, 86 degrees.

©2001 South Jersey Sports Online