Friday, August 28, 2015

Independence lose WPS championship game to Western New York Flash

It was a game with just as much drama as this summer's Women's World Cup final, and for Philadelphia fans, it was just as heartbreaking.

Independence lose WPS championship game to Western New York Flash

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It was a game with just as much drama as this summer's Women's World Cup final, and for Philadelphia fans, it was just as heartbreaking.

After Amy Rodriguez scored a dramatic tying goal in the 87th minute, the Philadelphia Independence lost the Women's Professional Soccer championship game to the Western New York Flash on penalty kicks, 5-4 in the shootout.

Christine Sinclair scored the game's first goal, a rasping strike past Independence goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart in the 64th minute. It looked like the Flash's defense would hold firm, but Rodriguez finally broke through by cleaning up a shot by Danesha Adams that hit the post.

The Independence caught a big break when Flash midfielder Beverly Goebel was given a second yellow card in the 106th minute. But they failed to capitalize, most notably when Rodriguez missed an open shot in the 117th minute. 

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So it was off to penalties, with a WPS championship game record crowd of 10,461 at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.

The first nine combined attempts went in, though there were quite a few near-saves. One of them benefitted the Independence, as Leigh Ann Robinson's attempt was initially saved by Ashlyn Harris but spun backwards over the line.

The only player who missed from the spot was Independence midfielder Laura del Rio. Unfortunately for her and Philadelphia, that was the last kick of the game. For the second straight year, the Independence had to settle for being second-best.

I hosted a live chat during the game, and you can read the transcript below. If you're on a mobile device, you can read it by clicking here.

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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, the National Women's Soccer League, the U.S. men's and women's national teams, and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

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