Saturday, June 28, 2003

Boston 2, Philadelphia 2 (WUSA Soccer)

Philadelphia knew that a key to this game would be stopping Boston forward Maren Meinert. Meinert had come off of a great performance for the World team in the All-Star game, and had scored on Philadelphia before. So Philadelphia's rookie defender Rachel Kruze got the job of shadowing Meinert all over the field. This tactic worked very well. Meinert did not score a goal and was not particularly effective in creating chances.

At the other end of the field, Boston's defense could not stop Philadelphia star forward Marinette Pichon. Pichon scored both goals for the Charge.

Though it will not show up in game highlights -- which usually consist of great goals and spectacular saves -- what a player does away from the ball can be a deciding factor in the game. Philadelphia's Lorrie Fair positions herself so well on defense that she always seems to be at the right place at the right time to have the ball "coincidentally" drop at her feet. There is no official statistic for this, but if there were, I'd guess Fair would be among the league leaders. She also made a beautiful long pass from midfield all the way to Pichon in the penalty area, which resulted in the Charge's second goal.

Boston substitute Ragnhild Gulbrandsen came on late in the game to score the tying goal in the final minutes.

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