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Sunday, December 6, 2009


That was certainly the feeling of North Carolina head coach Anson Dorrance and his senior-laden team after the third-ranked Tar Heels pitched a shutout at top-ranked Stanford Sunday afternoon, prevailing 1-0 in the 2009 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament championship game at Aggie Soccer Stadium before a stadium record crowd of 8,536.

The victory, powered by a goal by junior forward Jessica McDonald in the third minute of play, gave the Tar Heels their 20th NCAA title in the 28-year history of the NCAA Tournament, and Carolina's 21st championship in the sport overall when the 1981 AIAW title is included in the mix. UNC finished the season 23-3-1 overall and won the NCAA title with the fewest wins since the 2000 team won the title with a 21-3 mark. It was also the most losses UNC has had in an NCAA championship season since 2000 but those three regular-season losses and tie now seem like a distant memory to a team which ended the season on an 11-match winning skein.

In the process, Carolina, the only school to have won a national championship while going unbeaten and untied, which it accomplished in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 2003, denied Stanford the opportunity of joining that elite club as the Cardinal saw its season end at 25-1. Ironically, a year ago in the national championship game, the Tar Heels did the exact same thing, beating an unbeaten and untied top-rated Notre Dame team 2-1 in the national title game in Cary, N.C.

The NCAA title was the third for a nine-member group of UNC seniors who were also on title teams in 2006 and 2008. The nine-member UNC senior class includes Ashley Moore, Tobin Heath, Ashlyn Harris, Sterling Smith, Nikki Washington, Caroline Boneparth, Whitney Engen, Casey Nogueira and Kristi Eveland.

All nine were in uniform Sunday for the championship game with the exception of Washington, who has been out of the lineup since September 18 when she tore her right ACL against LSU. Heath, Harris, Engen, Nogueira and Eveland were all in the starting lineup Sunday while Smith came off the bench on the forward line.

It was also the third title for UNC redshirt junior midfielder Ali Hawkins who missed the 2007 campaign with an ACL tear and will return in 2010 to make a run at a fourth NCAA title.

Nogueira, who assisted on McDonald's game-winning goal, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player on Offense. She scored the game-winning goal in UNC's 1-0 NCAA semifinal win over Notre Dame Friday night. In six College Cup games in her career, all wins, Nogueira scored the game-winning goal four times and had the game-winning assist on another occasion. The only College Cup game in which she did not have a point was a 1-0 win over UCLA in the 2008 semifinals.

Senior Whitney Engen was named the Most Outstanding Player on Defense as the Tar Heels posted back-to-back shutouts over the nation's No. 5-ranked and No. 1-ranked squads. Other Tar Heels on the Women's College Cup All-Tournament Team were senior midfielder Tobin Heath, junior forward Jessica McDonald, junior defender Rachel Givan and senior goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.

Ironically, in a game that by rule had to go the full 90 minutes, the only goal of the match came less than three minutes into play and came on the first shot taken in the game by either side in a match that ended up with 28 combined shots being launched by the two teams. It was Tobin Heath, the senior midfielder from Basking Ridge, N.J., who jump started the game-winning sequence, earning the second assist on the game-winning goal for the second time in the College Cup weekend. Heath fed Nogueira on the left side of the pitch, allowing Nogueira to go 1v1 with her defender right on top of the large North Carolina logo painted on the left side of the field.

Meanwhile, Jessica McDonald split her defenders on a run into the center of the box and Nogueira's service found McDonald's right foot directly in stride and the junior from Glendale, Ariz., one-timed the ball into the left side of the frame from just inside the six-yard box.

While both teams mounted serious attacks from that point on, no one would scratch again as the game ended 1-0. UNC became the only team to shut out Stanford all year and in the process posted the squad's 19th clean sheet of the campaign in 26 matches. The UNC defense of senior goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, senior defenders Whitney Engen and Kristi Eveland and junior defender Rachel Givan, allowed only 12 goals all season, the fewest allowed by a UNC side since the 2003 team gave up 11 while going 27-0-0 and becoming the last team to win an NCAA title unbeaten and untied.

Exactly two minutes after the Tar Heels scored, Courtney Jones had an excellent chance to double the lead but her strike went just wide to the right of the frame from the top of the 18. Carolina would hold the high-powered Stanford attack without a shot for the first 17:15 of the match before Teresa Noyola's shot went high. The Tar Heels ended the first half with a 10-2 edge in shots and a 7-0 edge in corner kicks but they were unable to extend their lead in the match.

Jessica McDonald and Amber Brooks both had a pair of headers go wide off corner kicks or direct kicks in the first 45 minutes and Nogueira missed wide on another try. Stanford, meanwhile, was struggling to stay onside and it burned the Cardinal when what initially looked like a goal by Courtney Verloo was called back with about six minutes left in the opening frame. At the 42:29 mark, Verloo had a shot which forced Harris to make her first save of the game and was only the second shot of the half for the Cardinal. UNC ended the half with a brilliant chance to make it 2-0 but a header by Ali Hawkins off a corner kick by Rachel Givan was knocked away at the last second by Stanford goalkeeper Kira Maker in the 44th minute of the match.

The intensity in the second half picked up right from the opening whistle as both teams pressed the other squad's defense to either get the equalizer or provide separation. UNC would end the second period with a 9-7 edge in shots and a 4-3 margin in corner kicks.

Stanford's first-team All-America forward Kelley O'Hara had a great chance inside the 18-yard box at the 52:59 juncture but the effort went off frame. Stanford continued to press the issue and on a fast break by the Cardinal, UNC's Meghan Klingenberg was slapped with a yellow card just outside the penalty area on the right side at 55:47 of the match. Stanford's ensuing free kick was punched out by Harris before being cleared out of danger by UNC midfielder Lucy Bronze and she sent the ball downfield with a booming kick off her left foot.

With 32:09 to play in the match, Christen Press of the Cardinal had an open shot from 25 yards out but it sailed high. UNC began to counterattack and Nogueira was high with a shot at 62:42 of the match and then Maker made back-to-back saves on strikes by Nogueira at 65:42 and 67:09, respectively. UNC reached the second half TV timeout with a 15-6 edge overall in shots and an 8-1 advantage in corner kicks.

A key play in the game came at the 68:40 mark when O'Hara, a top candidate for National Player of the Year honors, was issued a yellow card after taking down UNC's Kristi Eveland. Earlier in the half O'Hara had fouled McDonald on the sidelines. The effect of that foul eventually forced McDonald from the game and limited her playing time in the second half.

Less than four minutes after the foul on Eveland, O'Hara merited her second yellow of the game, earning her an automatic red card and banishment from the pitch. On the second foul, she took down UNC defender Whitney Engen from behind after Engen had successfully tackled the ball away from the Stanford attacking trio. The red card came at 72:15 and meant the Cardinal played a man down for the final 17:45 of the match.

The red card, if anything, seemed to inspire the Cardinal. Just over a minute later, Ashlyn Harris had to make her most difficult save of the game on a long, hard, line drive shot by Christen Press from about 25 yards out front. Harris was able to knock the ball to the ground and then gobble it up before any Stanford player could get to the rebound.

UNC had two excellent chances to extend the lead but Tobin Heath had her shot turned away by Kira Maker at 75:46 and just 27 seconds after that Nogueira fed McDonald for a one-on-one with the Stanford goalkeeper but McDonald pushed her shot just to the right of the frame from about 15 yards out.

The Cardinal had two dangerous corner kicks in the final four minutes of play. On both occasions, Tar Heels cleared the other out of harm's way, the second time at the 89:16 mark. With 1:39 left Christen Press made a run past the UNC defense and punched the ball into the goal off the left post. But Press had mistimed her run and was beyond all three Tar Heels on the back line when the ball was served to her from the midfield. The play resulted in Stanford's sixth and final offside call of the day in the 89th minute.

1. Lauren Fowlkes, Notre Dame, D/M
2. Lauren Cheney, UCLA, F
3. Sydney Leroux, UCLA, F
4. Kelley O'Hara, Stanford, F
5. Christen Press, Stanford, F
6. Tobin Heath, North Carolina, MF
7. Jessica McDonald, North Carolina, F
8. Rachel Givan, North Carolina, D
9. Ashlyn Harris, North Carolina, GK

Most Outstanding Player on DEFENSE
Whitney Engen, North Carolina, D

Most Outstanding Player on OFFENSE
Casey Nogueira, North Carolina, F

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Teams Ink Trip to Women's College Cup

Nogueira puts on clinic against Wake[NORTH CAROLINA-WAKE FOREST 5-2] Casey Nogueira , the 2008 Women's Player of the Year, put on a clinic, scoring three goals to lead North Carolina to a 5-2 win over ACC rival Wake Forest. The Tar Heels return to the semifinals of the NCAA Women's Tournament for the 25th time in 28 years...

Stanford runs winning streak to 24 games[STANFORD-BOSTON COLLEGE 3-1] The 1-2 punch of senior Kelley O'Hara and junior Christen Press combined for all three goals as No. 1 Stanford beat Boston College, 3-1, Friday night before a sellout crowd of 2,200 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium and earned a berth in the NCAA College Cup...

Irish return to College Cup for fourth straight year[FLORIDA STATE-NOTRE DAME 0-2] Throughout the NCAA Women's Tournament, Melissa Henderson has shown off her athleticism, but on Friday afternoon she demonstrated her nose for the goal, scoring her seventh goal in four games from close range to lead visiting Notre Dame to a 2-0 win over regional top-seed Florida State in front of a capacity crowd at the Seminole Soccer Complex. With the win, the Irish advance to the College Cup for the fourth consecutive year...

[UCLA-PORTLAND 2-1]Old foes UCLA and Portland clashed Saturday for the third time in the last four years in the NCAA quarterfinals in Westwood and UCLA proves to be poor hosts as they defeated the Pilots 2-1.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lambert Defends Herself

Nearly two weeks later, the University of New Mexico soccer player Elizabeth Lambert said she still could not fully explain what led her to yank an opponent from Brigham Young down by her ponytail in what has become a highly publicized incident of violent behavior.

Her action was indefensible, Lambert said Tuesday in her first interview since the incident occurred Nov. 5 in a Mountain West Conference semifinal game and led to her indefinite suspension from the New Mexico team.

“I still deeply regret it and will always regret it and will carry it through the rest of my life not to retaliate,” said Lambert, a 20-year-old junior on scholarship.

She has watched the video a handful of times and does not recognize herself pulling down Brigham Young’s Kassidy Shumway, Lambert said.

“I look at it and I’m like, ‘That is not me,’ ” said Lambert, a defender and an all-conference academic player. “I have so much regret. I can’t believe I did that.”

At the same time, she said other moments of aggressive play — in which Lambert elbowed a Brigham Young player in the back, received a yellow card for tripping, seemed to throw a punch at an opponent’s head and made a hard tackle from behind — came during the forceful, insistent play that routinely occurred in women’s soccer but might be misunderstood by casual fans.

Some of her actions — like the apparent punch, which she said was inadvertent — were misinterpreted or taken out of context on a condensed video, Lambert said. And she said she believed that the incident was blown out of proportion because it occurred in a women’s game. She said it was wrongly reported to be her when it was actually a teammate who tried to clear a ball and accidentally kicked it into the face of a BYU player.

“I definitely feel because I am a female it did bring about a lot more attention than if a male were to do it,” Lambert said. “It’s more expected for men to go out there and be rough. The female, we’re still looked at as, Oh, we kick the ball around and score a goal. But it’s not. We train very hard to reach the highest level we can get to. The physical aspect has maybe increased over the years. I’m not saying it’s for the bad or it’s been too overly aggressive. It’s a game. Sports are physical.”

She added: “I think the way the video came out, it did make me look like a monster. That’s not the type of player I am. I’m not just out there trying to hurt players. That’s taking away from the beauty of the game. And I would never want to do that.”

Lambert said she was shaken and appalled by some of the responses she received in e-mail messages, telephone messages and on blogs, which included the publishing of her parents’ home phone number in Southern California and one suggestion that “I should be taken to a state prison, raped and left for dead in a ditch.”

She said she felt conflicting emotions and sometimes still woke up in a sweat.

“I’ll be angry with myself that I did this, to my team, my university, that I did this to women’s soccer, a sport that many females have worked very hard to get respect for,” Lambert said.

“And I’ll be sad that people want to see me suffer.”
She said she was taken aback at how the incident had been perceived by some as sexy catfighting between two women. She said she was aghast that some men had sent her messages saying, “Hey, we should meet up some time.”
“That appalled me,” Lambert said. “A lot of people think I have a lot of sexual aggression. I was like, ‘Whoa, no, I don’t feel that way at all.’ That’s bizarre and shocking to me.”
The game against Brigham Young began with familiar passion and intensity, Lambert said. Emotions escalated after Brigham Young took a 1-0 halftime lead, given that a defeat could mean the end of the season and a failure to qualify for the NCAA tournament, she said.
Opposing fans were mockingly chanting her name, she said, and players on both teams were playing aggressively. She said she was called names and taken down to the ground with cheap shots. On video, a BYU player can be seen elbowing Lambert in the stomach before she shoves the opponent in the back in retaliation. Shumway can be seen tugging on Lambert’s shorts before she is yanked down by her ponytail.
If the referee Joe Pimentel had issued more yellow cards or a red card, Lambert said, “It would have been a very different game.”
Still, Lambert said that she did not want to throw Pimentel “under the bus” and that she did not consider the game to be out of control.
Her coach, Kit Vela, never instructed her to “take anybody out,” Lambert said, adding that the BYU players also did not appear to have malign intent.
Lambert said she eventually grew frustrated, as much with herself as with the opponent, saying she had often struggled with self-confidence and with feeling “that I’m accepted playing at this level.”
Lambert said of the match: “I’ve never been in a situation like that, where I was out of my element. There were times in the game where I was literally like, ‘All right, Elizabeth, you’ve got to get control’ of myself.”
In each of her two previous matches, Lambert had received a yellow-card warning, but those were the only cautions in more than 2,500 minutes of play at New Mexico, a university official said.
Lambert said she did not consider herself a dirty player. Yet in the second half, she yanked Shumway down by her ponytail and assumed widespread villainy.
“In that one moment, I let it all get into my head,” Lambert said of the emotion of the game.
Later in the match, Lambert received a yellow card for tripping.
She is seeing a clinical psychologist on campus to better understand what caused the hair-pulling incident. It is one of several steps she is taking, along with speaking to youth players about acceptable behavior, so she can seek reinstatement to the team in the spring.
“I’m working on my mental game to never let that happen again,” Lambert said. “That’s unacceptable in any sport to get to that point where you feel it’s necessary that you have to retaliate in a dirty manner.”

Monday, November 9, 2009

NCAA Women's College Cup Selection Show: Division I

ESPNews will air the NCAA Women's College Cup Selections tonight at 7pm (CT). Teams will learn their fate when those selections are announced. There are 30 DI conferences that will receive automatic bids to the post-season and another 34 teams will receive at-large bids.

Oklahoma State beats the Aggies: Earns NCAA Berth

Oklahoma State defender Carson Michalowski headed in a corner kick from Colleen Dougherty in the 53rd minute, and it was all the offense the Cowgirls would need to win the Big 12 Conference Soccer Championship with a 1-0 victory over Texas A&M on Sunday.

The fifth-seeded Cowgirls (15-7-0, 8-5-0) earned the automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, which starts Friday. It's the first time they have won the Big 12 tournament since 2003. The Aggies won in in 2004 and '05 and were the runnerup in '07.

Oklahoma State controlled the tempo early, because A&M did not get much offense generated before halftime. The Aggies, who had outshot their opponents by a 22-10 margin in all games this year, were outshot 6-3 by the Cowgirls in the first half.

"I thought we were real unlucky not to be up one or two goals at halftime," OSU coach Colin Carmichael said. "And we were fortunate that it didn't come back to bite us.

"You're not going to keep a good team like A&M from getting opportunities. But AD (Franch) makes coaches look good, doesn't she?"

A&M coach G. Guerrieri said his team usually can win if it gets at least eight shots on goal. A&M had seven for the game, but six in the second half.

"I think their goalkeeper was great," Guerrieri said. "They made big-time saves.

"And we have to play for 90 minutes. I think we played for 40. Oklahoma State did a great job of battling and scraping to keep us off the scoreboard."

Memphis: 3-Peat Complete

Three is a magic number as Memphis claimed its third-straight Conference USA title with a 3-0 victory against UCF in Sunday's championship match on a mild day at SMU's Westcott Field. The third-seeded Tigers (16-6-0) won their third tournament match in a row, advancing to the finals with wins over SMU and Colorado College.

"I am extremely proud," head coach Brooks Monaghan said. "We were the underdog coming in since we had to play three games. These kids continue to amaze me and it all points back to their character. To win a championship is amazing, but to do it three years in a row leaves me at a loss for words."

Sophomore forward Lizzy Simonin was credited with the game-winner in the 58th minute as she put the Tigers on the scoreboard first. Simonin scored from just inside the box off a pass from junior midfielder Vendula Strnadova.

UCF (16-4-1), who won the C-USA regular season title for the third time in the last five years, had its 10-match win streak snapped with the loss. The Knights last defeat was against Memphis on Sept. 27.

San Diego State Women's Soccer: First MWC Championship

The MWC Offensive Player of the Year, San Diego State junior Cat Walker, scored the game's lone goal to give the #2 Aztecs (14-3-5) an upset win over #1 BYU (17-3-2) in the final of the MWC Women's Soccer Tournament. The Aztecs' 1-0 victory on Saturday, Nov. 7, at South Field, marks the team's first MWC Tournament title.

"Obviously it was a huge, huge win," said San Diego State head coach Mike Friesen. "It's great to not have to wait around to see if we're getting in the NCAAs. We're super excited now, and in the future, to see where this program is headed."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

MWC Championships: LIVE at 1pm CT

(2)SAN DIEGO STATE (13-3-5; 5-0-2 MWC)
at #8 (1)BYU (17-2-2; 6-0-1 MWC)

MWC Championship Final South Soccer Stadium Provo, Utah

Saturday, Oct. 7 Noon MT/11 a.m. PT The Mtn. (tape delay)


The top-seeded Cougars improved to 17-2-2 with their semifinal win over New Mexico ... BYU has won seven straight contests ... The Cougars had won seven straight before encountering San Diego State, which turned out to be a 2-2 tie ... Brigham Young's last loss came on the road at Washington State, 2-1, back on Sept. 10 ... BYU is nationally ranked in all major top-25 polls, including Soccer America, which has them at No. 8 ... The Cougars are led offensively by Carlee Payne, who leads the team with 36 points (13 g, 10 a) ... Kassidy C. Shumway is second on the team in points with 18 (7 g, 4a) ... McKinzie Olson has 11 shutouts and has a GAA of 0.51 ... Andrea Willis earned league defensive-player-of-the-year honors, while Carlee Payne was named the conference's top freshman ... Willis, Payne, Shumway and Olson were all first-teamers and Lindsi Lisonbee garnered second-team accolades.

San Diego State advanced to the championship game after rallying from a one-goal second-half deficit to beat Utah in double overtime, 2-1. SDSU received a goal from Cat Walker in the 83rd minute to tie the game and Sarah Halverson sent everyone home in the 108th minute. Niki Fernandes assisted on both goals, while Hayley Marsh was credited with a helper on the game-winner after providing the outlet pass to Fernandes.

The two teams meet for the 2nd time this year and the 22nd time overall. BYU leads the all-time series 9-8-4 all time vs. the Aztecs... SDSU is 0-5-2 in its last seven against BYU in Provo... The Aztecs' last win over the Cougars in Provo occurred on Nov. 7, 1998 ... SDSU's last overall victory over BYU was in 2007, a 2-0 decision at San Diego State.

San Diego State kept its unbeaten streak intact and pushed it to seven games as it earned a 2-2 double-overtime tie against 13th-ranked Brigham Young Thursday afternoon at SDSU Sports Deck. The Aztecs, who were playing their first Mountain West Conference game of the season, see their record move to 7-3-4 (0-0-1 MWC), while the Cougars leave Montezuma Mesa with a record of 10-2-2 (1-0-1 MWC).

The game started on a fast note as San Diego State struck first just over three minutes into the game. Tiffany Hurst continued her strong play of late and beat two defenders on the right side. After having the ball knocked away momentarily, Hurst touched the ball back to a breaking Allie Crowson, who deposited the ball in the upper right corner of the goal from approximately 16 yards out. For Hurst, it was her second assist in as many games and her fourth point in her last two outings. Crowson, meanwhile, notched her second goal of the season.

With the match just 3:09 old, both teams traded possessions throughout the first half and produced very few quality scoring chances. After the Crowson goal, BYU's top scoring opportunity came 51 seconds later when Kassidy C. Shumway blasted a ball toward SDSU goalkeeper Aubree Southwick, but it sailed high. On the flip side, the Aztecs' Niki Fernandes nearly gave San Diego State a two-goal lead in the 33rd minute when she blew by two defenders with a creative one-on-one move, but didn't have the angle she needed to get her shot past BYU goalie McKinzie Olson. With that said, the Aztecs went into the locker room ahead, 1-0.

In the second half, the Cougars became aggressive offensively and it paid off at 52:06 when SDSU mishandled an attempt to clear the ball after which put the ball in Jessica Ringwood's possession 13 yards out. Seconds later, Ringwood calmly tucked the ball into the right corner past a leaping Southwick to provide the tying goal.

BYU, who came into the game having won seven straight, continued its aggressive game plan and it netted the go-ahead goal in the 65th minute. Shumway scored off a header from eight yards out after consecutive passes from Lauren Anderson and Carlee Payne.

As time was running off the clock, San Diego State started to get its rhythm back in the final 10-15 minutes. In the 86th minute, the Aztecs' Millie Allen had her shot blocked, but Cat Walker gathered the rebound and blasted a shot of her own that went just high to end a frantic two-shot sequence. With the ball and momentum on San Diego State's side, the Aztecs took advantage of the opportunity in the 89th minute when Britney Bennett found Megan McQueeny. Bennett, who entered the game at the start of the second half, dribbled the ball on the far right side and sent a pass into the middle of the box that found McQueeny. The sophomore, from seven yards out, then put a shot on goal that went through traffic in front of the goal and found the back of the net to even the score at 2 apiece and essentially force overtime. The goal was McQueeny's first of the season and second of her career. In the final 24-plus minutes of regulation, San Diego State outshot the Cougars, 5-1.

In the first extra session, San Diego State continued to control the ball, but attempted just one shot. The Aztec defense, which has been solid all season, prevented BYU from taking a single shot as the match moved into another 10-minute stanza. Like the first OT, the second frame did not produce a goal as the game ended in a draw.

The match, which featured two of the top teams in the Pacific Region, was nearly equal in every statistical category. Brigham Young owned a slim lead in shots (15-14), shots on goal (5-4) and corner kicks (7-6), while San Diego State finished with three saves to the Cougars' two. The teams were even in fouls with 13 apiece.

With their two goals, the Aztecs became just the third team to score twice on BYU this year. Coming into the game, the Cougars had allowed just nine goals in their 13 games.

As previously stated, the tie extended San Diego State's unbeaten streak to seven games. It was the longest such streak since 1998 when that team went unbeaten and won 12 straight en route to the WAC championship and the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The Aztecs also extended their unbeaten mark to four against BYU in games played on the SDSU campus and are 5-2-2 vs. the Cougars all time in San Diego.

Defending Champs Defeated: Aggies vs Cowgirls Again

Katie Hamilton and Whitney Hooper scored goals less than 1 ½ minutes apart in the second half to help Texas A&M break open a close game and land the Aggies a spot in the Big 12 Conference Soccer Championship final with a 5-1 victory over Texas on Friday night.

Annika Niemeier’s goal in the 80th minute broke a tie game and gave the Oklahoma State Cowgirls a spot in the Big 12 Conference Soccer Championship final with a 3-2 victory over top-seeded and defending champ Missouri on Friday night.

The final is 1 p.m. Sunday at Blossom Soccer Stadium, and it will be a rematch of a 1-0 game that the Aggies won on Oct. 9 in Stillwater. Oklahoma State has not lost since, going 7-0 and outscoring the opposition 16-3.

C-USA Championship: Halbert Scores First; Memphis 3-Peat?

UCF and Memphis both advanced to Sunday's C-USA Championship match with 1-0 wins in the semifinals. The title match will be played Sunday at 1 p.m. Central at SMU's Westcott Field and will be televised live by CBS College Sports.

UCF junior Lauren Halbert made her first goal of the season really count as she nailed the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over UAB in the semifinals of the C-USA Women's Soccer Championship. With the win, the top-seeded Knights extended their win streak to 10 matches.

Memphis sophomore midfielder Lizzy Hildebrandt netted the game-winner in the 15th minute and the UofM defense held on for its school-record 11th shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory against Colorado College. Memphis advances to the C-USA title game for the third year in a row to defend its 2007 and 2008 titles.

Friday, November 6, 2009

BIG 12 Women's Soccer at Blossom

Semifinals tonight at 5:30 pm and Finals Sunday at 1 pm.

Friday: Nov. 6
Oklahoma State vs. Missouri - 5:30 p.m.
Texas vs. Texas A&M - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday: Nov. 8
Championship - 1:00 p.m.

Please tell your own network of soccer enthusiasts and help us pack the stands! And don't forget, the NCAA Div. III Men's & Women's Soccer Championships come to San Antonio on Dec. 4 & 5.

Tickets are available online or by calling San Antonio Sports at 210.820.2100.

Tickets are always available at the GATE. $7 per day or $12 for the tournament pass. SPECIAL TEAM PACKAGE OF 20 TICKETS FOR ONLY $99.

On Field Reaction from BYU's Carlee Payne to Lambert

New Mexico Women's Soccer Player Suspended Indefinitely

Lambert apoligizes for her actions.

UNM SID - Nov. 6, 2009
University of New Mexico head women's soccer coach Kit Vela announced today that junior defender Elizabeth Lambert has been suspended indefinitely for her actions in Thursday's match against BYU in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Championship in Provo, Utah.
Effective immediately, Lambert is prohibited from participating in all team practices, competition and conditioning activities.

"I am deeply and wholeheartedly regretful for my actions," said Lambert. "My actions were uncalled for. I let my emotions get the best of me in a heated situation. I take full responsibility for my actions and accept any punishment felt necessary from the coaching staff and UNM administration. This is in no way indicative of my character or the soccer player that I am. I am sorry to my coaches and teammates for any and all damages I have brought upon them. I am especially sorry to BYU and the BYU women's soccer players that were personally affected by my actions. I have the utmost respect for the BYU women's soccer program and its players."

"Liz is a quality student-athlete, but in this instance her actions clearly crossed the line of fair play and good sportsmanship," said Vela.

"Liz's conduct on the field against BYU was completely inappropriate," said UNM Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs. "There is no way to defend her actions."

Women's Soccer Is Surprisingly Violent

There’s an old adage that describes soccer as a gentleman’s game played bt ruffians and rugby as a ruffian’s game played by gentlemen. That’s never more true than when the gentlemen playing the game are ladies. Take, for example, the supremely thuggish antics of Elizabeth Lambert, a 21-year-old defender on the New Mexico Lobos women’s soccer team. I know she doesn’t look dangerous, but just check out this carnage.

A lot of people in America knock soccer for being a soft sport played by kids and foreigners, but those that do have never seen someone stop a soccer ball with their face or take a kick to the chops during a sliding tackle. Lambert got a yellow card eventually.

Lambert is a 5-7 Junior, centerback from Lancaster, CA.

Mountain West Conference Tournament Championship: Coming to you LIVE

After two overtime periods, #2 San Diego State (13-4-5) defeated #3 Utah (12-4-5), 2-1, to advance to the final round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament. First-seeded BYU (17-2-2) ensured that the top-two seeds in the MWC Women's Soccer Tournament will play for the championship on Saturday, as the Cougars defeated fourth-seeded New Mexico (13-5-3), 1-0, on a goal in the 31st minute by Carlee Payne. With the win, BYU will play second-seeded San Diego State at noon on Saturday, Nov. 7.
The Mtn. - MountainWest Sports Network will air the championship game between #1 BYU and #2 San Diego State, scheduled for 1 p.m. CT on Saturday, Nov. 7. The match will be streamed LIVE on The Mtn.’s Web site (Click Here for Live Streaming Video) and air on The Mtn. via same-day tape delay at 1 a.m. CT. It will also be re-broadcast at 3p.m. CT on Sunday, Nov. 8.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Conference Championships: Path to College Cup

Six teams have inked their spots to the MWC Championship, which will be held Nov. 4-7, in Provo, Utah. San Diego State finished the regular season on a high note as it defeated TCU on the road, 4-1, Friday evening at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium in front of a facility-record 2,713 fans. The victory improves the Aztecs' record to 12-3-5 overall and 5-0-2 in the Mountain West Conference, while the Horned Frogs fall to 9-9-0 (2-5-0 MWC). The Aztec's will finish in second place as BYU claims the MWC title with a win over Wyoming on Saturday night. New Mexico outshot UNLV 32-12 in route to a 2-0 victory giving TCU the 6th and final spot in the MWC Championships. BYU and SanDiego State take their byes into Thursday as they wait the outcome of the quarterfinal matches on Wednesday - TCU will play Utah at 12:00pm MT and New Mexico will take on Wyoming at 3:00pm MT. Semi-Finals will continue on Thursday and the Championship match will be held on Saturday. The MWC Champion will receive and automatic berth into the NCAA College Cup. BYU and San Diego State have an opportunity to receive at-large bids if they do not take the tournament title. It is possible for the MWC to have 3 teams advance to the NCAA College Cup.
UCF (15-3-1) will face the winner of No. 4 seed UTEP (13-5-0, 7-4-0) and No. 5 seed UAB (11-6-2, 5-4-2), who will play in the match to kick off the championship at 5 p.m. CT Wednesday. The Blazers knocked off UTEP in the regular season in a 1-0 overtime decision. UAB earned the tournament bid with a 2-1 victory against Memphis in the final regular-season game on Thursday, Oct. 29.

No. 3 seed and two-time defending C-USA champion Memphis (13-6-0, 8-3-0) will square off against host and No. 6 seed SMU (7-10-1, 5-5-1) in the 7:30 p.m. match. The Tigers shut out SMU, 2-0, in the regular season on Oct. 16. The winner of that match will play second-seeded Colorado College (12-5-2, 8-2-1), who leapt over Memphis in the standings with a dramatic come-from-behind victory against rival UTEP. CC freshman Brittney Lyman scored a conference-record five goals in a 5-2 win over the Miners in tonight's final match of the regular season to secure the bye. Colorado College will play the Memphis-SMU winner on Friday at 7:30 p.m. CT.

A complete schedule of the 2009 Conference USA Women's Soccer Championship follows.


Wednesday, November 4
Match 1 - (4) UTEP vs. (5) UAB - 5 p.m.
Match 2 - (3) Memphis vs. (6) SMU - 7:30 p.m.

Friday, November 6 (Semifinals)
Match 3 - (1) UCF vs. UTEP/UAB winner - 5 p.m.
Match 4 - (2) Colorado College vs. Memphis/SMU winner - 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 8 (Finals)
Match 5 - Semifinal Winners - 1 p.m. (CBS College Sports)

All times are Central.
All Matches played at Westcott Field (Dallas, Texas)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

JATO Media Presents: NCAA D1 Women's Soccer

JATO Media Presents….
TCU Women’s Soccer @ University of New Mexico Lobos

Saturday, October 3rd
UNM Soccer Complex @ 5:00pm MT (6:00pm Texas Time)
Pre-Game begins at 4:45pm MT
FORT WORTH, Texas - Fans not able to attend today's conference game at New Mexico can following the game live by clicking on the live audio link, which is located on the schedule page and below.
Webstreaming play-by-play analyst Jay Fitzgerald will call the match live from the UNM Soccer Complex on Saturday night. Start time is set for 6 p.m. CT.

*We are experimenting with USTREAM to bring you LIVE BROADCASTS of games and special events involving TCU Soccer. There is a chance that it will not work this Saturday but we are going to try and get it up. We are sorry in advance for any problems that we may experience.

You can also chat during the game on the JATOTV Channel on USTREAM.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WPS Post-Championship

by WPS - Staff Report
08/25/2009 - 04:18 p.m.

WPS Championship presented by MedImmune Saturday, August 22 – The Home Depot Center, Carson, CASky Blue FC 1, Los Angeles Sol 0

Sky Blue FC Returns Home with TrophyAfter winning Saturday’s WPS Championship presented by MedImmune, 1-0, over 2009 Regular Season Champions Los Angeles Sol, Sky Blue FC returned to New Jersey over the weekend for a week of WPS Championship celebration events.

In order to have the WPS Championship trophy on-hand for all Sky Blue FC fans to see, Sky Blue FC General Manager Gerry Marrone hand-carried the trophy on the plane flight home. Talk about a valuable carry on!

WPS Championship Trophy Presentation
Rutgers Women's Soccer Home OpenerRutgers vs. UMBC
Tuesday, August 25 Gates open at 6 pm, Kickoff at 7 pm
Yurcak Field – Piscataway, NJ

WPS Championship Celebration with the Sky Blue FC team
Wednesday, August 26 Party at 7 pm
Charlie Brown's – Highland Park, NJ

Sky Blue Soccer School Team Camp with the Sky Blue FC players
Thursday, August 27 6-8 pm
Heavenly Farms Field – East Brunswick, NJ

Brazilian night with Rosana and Francielle (TBD) Newark, NJ
Friday, August 28 TBD

Colleges Celebrate WPS Champions
Colleges keep close tabs on their former players. Some of the top women’s collegiate soccer programs in the country celebrated their alumni who became WPS champions with news and notes this week. Notre Dame had eight players in the WPS Playoffs including WPS Champions Kerri Hanks and Jen Buczkowski. The University of North Carolina featured four Tar Heel graduates on Sky Blue FC, while the University of Connecticut (Meghan Schnur) and University of Tennessee (Keeley Dowling) celebrated their player’s success with stories online and photos in their media guides.

WPS All-Star Game presented by U.S. Coast Guard
Sunday, August 30 – The Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park, Fenton, MO, 4:30pm CT
WPS All-Stars vs. Umeå IK

WPS All-Star Game - TV Schedule Sunday, August 30
Pregame Show – Fox Soccer Channel, 5pm ET/2pm PT
Kickoff – Fox Soccer Channel, 5:30pm ET/2:30pm PT
Tuesday, September 1Re-Air – Fox Soccer Channel, 5pm ET/2pm PT
Thursday, September 3Re-Air – Fox Soccer Channel, 3am ET/12am PT

Get to Know: Umeå IK
On Sunday, Aug. 30 the WPS All-Stars face Umeå IK in the WPS All-Star Game presented by the Coast Guard (5pm ET/2pm PT on Fox Soccer Channel and webcast at

Some background on Umeå IK:
Umea’s Season In the middle of a two-month break in Sweden’s top league, Damallsvenskan, Umeå (12-2-2, 38 points) sits in first place with a two-point lead over the second-place Linköpings FC (11-3-2, 36 points) and has outscored opponents by a 42-11 margin. The Damallsvenskan’s second half commences on Sept. 26 with the final day of play set for Nov. 7.
Umea’s History Umeå was founded in 1985 and has won seven Damallsvenskan titles since 2000 including the last four. Umeå also won the 2003 and 2004 UEFA Women’s Cup competitions, which crown Europe’s top women’s club team. In 2002, 2007 and 2008, Umeå were runners-up for the UEFA Women’s Cup. Several of Sweden’s and the world’s top players have suited up for Umeå including Marta, Hanna Ljungberg and Malin Möstrom.

Who to Watch
Ramona Bachmann, Forward
The Swiss forward is the second-leading goalscorer in the Damallsvenksan with 14 goals. She also has five assists on the season.
Johanna Frisk and Frida Östberg, Defenders

The Los Angeles Sol and Chicago Red Stars defenders, respectively, both hail from Sweden and will suit up for Umeå on Sunday. Both defenders played for Umeå prior to joining WPS.

Malin Möstrom, Midfielder
Sweden’s national team captain from 2001-2006, Möstrom is now retired from international soccer but still plays for Umeå.

Carola Söberg, Goalkeeper
The lone goalkeeper on the roster, Söberg is Umeå’s second-string ‘keeper behind Ulla-Karin Rönnlund who is with Sweden for the Euros. Söberg has played in seven matches for Umeå this season and allowed five goals.

Mami Yamaguchi, Midfielder
After winning the 2007 MAC Hermann Trophy as the NCAA’s best player, Yamaguchi decided to forgo her senior season at Florida State and signed with Umeå.

About WPS Championship presented by MedImmuneMedImmune is a proud sponsor of WPS and is the presenting sponsor of the 2009 WPS Championship. MedImmune teamed up with WPS for “Don’t Play with the Flu”™, a national education campaign about the importance of seasonal flu vaccination. MedImmune and WPS are committed to helping parents and families put up a good defense against seasonal flu. More information is available at

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monday Night Futbol: Community Soccer Program

Staff Writers
JATO Athletics and Stricker Soccer continue to join forces to bring quality soccer programs to local associations and communities. The goal of the programs is to develop young players to maximize their development at the age and level they are playing at, to enhance the player’s experience and training, and to teach them to compete at a higher level.

JATO and Stricker Soccer operate weekly soccer training programs where young people can learn to develop a positive self-image, self-confidence, and other positive character traits through their interest and participation in soccer based on a philosophy of Positive Coaching. What makes winning kids is being built up, not down!

The staff coaches make the extra effort to understand and offer positive help to players, rather than negative criticism. Winning Kids, not winning games! Interest and enthusiasm are the only requirements for playing. A positive environment is created where all involved will benefit.

The Monday Night Futbol Program is free to all players in the Colleyville Soccer Association (CSA). Academy Soccer through the Colleyville SC is now an option for U6-U10 players within the CSA. For more information click or call... or or 817-460-JATO (5286).

JATO Media Production

Monday, August 10, 2009


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Aug. 9, 2009) – Under warm and sunny conditions at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, the inaugural regular season of Women’s Professional Soccer came to a close on Sunday with a 1-1 draw between FC Gold Pride and Saint Louis Athletica. But it was two exciting games earlier on the weekend that determined the final WPS Playoff berths in WPS Week 20.

With a 3-1 victory by the Washington Freedom over Sky Blue FC on Saturday evening, the Freedom clinched third place in the WPS Standings and will again host Sky Blue FC in a rematch at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 4pm ET/1pm PT. On Sunday afternoon, the New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC clinched the fourth and final spot in the WPS Playoffs when the Boston Breakers lost at home in a nail-biter to the Los Angeles Sol, 2-1. With the score tied 1-1 and Boston pushing everyone up late in the game for a score – and a potential playoff berth – the Sol sealed Boston’s fate when Shannon Boxx converted a stoppage-time PK. The loss eliminated any playoff hopes for the Breakers, who needed a victory over the Sol to edge Sky Blue FC for the final WPS Playoff berth.

Two teams, Saint Louis Athletica and Los Angeles Sol, already secured their playoff destiny prior to Week 20. The Athletica host the winner of the WPS First Round between Washington and Sky Blue FC in the WPS Super Semifinal on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 7pm ET/6 CT at The Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in Fenton, Mo.

As regular season champions, the Los Angeles Sol await the winner of the WPS Super Semifinal in the WPS Championship presented by MedImmune on Saturday, Aug. 22 at 4pm ET/1pm PT at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Changing Elite Girls Soccer in the United States

For Immediate Release
MILWAUKEE, WI (Tuesday, April 28, 2009) The Elite Clubs National League (“ECNL”) announced the inaugural member clubs for the 2009-2010 season. The ECNL will kick-off its inaugural season at the Eclipse Select Challenge Cup August 14-16, 2009 in Chicago, IL, and will continue with year-long competition in conjunction with multiple national showcase events that culminates in the ECNL National Championship in Seattle, WA in July 2010. In addition, the ECNL will provide a subsidized player identification program for players to be scouted for youth national teams in conjunction with the US Club Soccer ID2 Program.

In 2009-2010, the ECNL season will feature 40 of the top youth girls clubs in the United States in the U15-U17 age groups competing in a 12-game season. Teams in the ECNL will compete for individual age group ECNL National Championships and an overall ECNL Club National Championship.

In each age group, teams will be placed in two flights of 20 teams each, (Challenge A and Challenge B), based on team strength. The ECNL will host stand-alone events and partner with existing national showcase events for completion of a 10-game regular season. Upon completion of a 10-game regular season, multiple four team playoff groups in each flight will be established based on the regular season standings. The top four teams in each age group in the Challenge A division will compete for the ECNL National Championship and the winner will be crowned the age group ECNL National Champion. The bottom four teams in the Challenge A division will compete in a relegation playoff where the winning team will remain in the Challenge A division for the next season and the remaining three teams will be relegated to the Challenge B division. The top four teams in the Challenge B division will compete for the promotion playoff where the top three teams will be promoted to the Challenge A division for the next season.

“The ECNL is a great step for elite girls youth players in this country,” said ECNL President Christian Lavers (FC Milwaukee). “The ECNL is founded on the concept that elite female player development in the United States needs a structure that will reduce the total number of games on the schedule and increase the number of meaningful, quality games. The ECNL sets forth a vision that gives us a clear path to that goal –a national competition schedule and a national identification program linked to that competition.”

“A great deal of work has gone into making the ECNL a reality. That, coupled with the commitment of the clubs involved, provides very exciting prospects for us all moving forward. This league is going to be something very special,” said ECNL Vice President, Doug Bracken (Ohio Elite Soccer Academy).

2009-2010 ECNL clubs include some of the most accomplished girls youth clubs in the United States: Albertson Fury, New York; Arsenal FC, California; Atlanta Fire, Georgia; Bethesda SC, Maryland; Birmingham United, Alabama; CASL, North Carolina; CESA Premier, South Carolina; Challenge SC, Texas; Charlotte Soccer Academy, North Carolina; Colorado Rush, Colorado; Concorde Fire, Georgia; Connecticut FC, Connecticut; Crossfire Premier, Washington; Dallas Sting, Texas; D’Feeters, Texas; Eclipse Select, Illinois; FC Dallas, Texas; FC DELCO, Pennsylvania; FC Milwaukee, Wisconsin; FC Stars of Mass, Massachusetts; FC Virginia, Virginia; Freestate Soccer Alliance, Maryland; FSA SoccerPlus, Connecticut; Irvine Strikers, California; Lonestar SC, Texas; Minnesota Thunder, Minnesota; Mustang SC, California; Neusport FC, Nevada; Ohio Elite Soccer Academy, Ohio; Ohio Premier, Ohio; PDA, New Jersey; Pleasanton Rage, California; Real Colorado, Colorado; San Juan SC, California; SC Del Sol, Arizona; Sereno SC, Arizona; Solar, Texas; St. Louis Scott Gallagher, Missouri; Virginia Rush, Virginia; West Coast FC, California.

TCU Women's Soccer: Among Nation's Elite

TCU Women's Soccer is becoming one of America’s most up and coming college soccer programs, the Horned Frogs do not measure success by wins and losses alone, but in the style and quality of the performance of everyone involved. The players in the program are renowned for their extremely high speed of play and attacking mentality.

TCU finished with a 14-4-2 record and season-high national ranking of No. 28 and RPI of No. 24.
TCU is a known commodity, at least after the best season in history, this program is totally capable of winning a conference championship but a national championship is not far from their minds.

The TCU soccer program is just 19 years old this season, and after beginning play in the Mountain West Conference there has been a rebirth of a program – a target for others to chase, in 2008 they where top among the conference in many different statistical categories.

The players come from all over the country, and they too, themselves are proving to be some of the best players in the country.

The TCU soccer program is definitely hunting something down – the last couple of years have seen the Horned Frogs accomplish many firsts…the numbers the Frogs have put up in the last year are eye catching – they were 14-4-2 this year, they won their first post-season game and with that kind of a record come record crowds averaging over 1200 per game… to be the best in the MWC means you are among the nation’s best.. here is a video recap of the 2008 Frogs by JATO Media.

JATO Media Production

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Red Stars Host Sky Blue FC: Teams looking for Firsts

JATO Media - Jay Fitzgerald
BRIDGEVIEW, IL - The Red Stars set the tone early and as the match took shape it was a very entertaining back and forth 0-0 draw. As the rain continued to fall, the match saw multiple opportunities squandered by quality defensive play and goalkeeping. The two teams, both looking for firsts - Chicago their 1st home win and New York/New Jersey their 1st franchise victory. It seemed like Ian Sawyer's Sky Blue side was afraid to make a mistake. They were stagnate and predictable in the first half before they came alive in the 2nd half as US National Team star, and former UNC National Champion Heather O'Reilly showed how dangerous she can be. O'Reilly was flanked by Australian Internationals Collette McCallum and Sarah Walsh. McCallum had 3 quality chances to put their team on the board, the best in the 61st minute where she missed over the crossbar from about 8 yards out. Walsh, back from a broken leg, still not 100% but you would never know it as she took control of the ball in several spots and was very dynamic in the final third of the field. Sky Blue's, Kacey White was able to put the ball inside the box on numerous occasions but to no avail.

Yes, the match was scoreless but not for a lack of action between the 2 teams. The Red Stars outplayed Sky Blue in the opening 45 as Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Lindsay Tarpley, Cristiane, and Karen Carney all showed their attacking personalities but none more than Lakewood, CO native, Marian Dalmy and she did it coming out of the back. Dalmy got into the attacking third at will, creating service and dribble penetration. "Dalmy had an outstanding game", commented Lloyd, "She really opened the game up for us." Rapinoe came close to scoring the matches first goal as she took a misclearance under control and biked the ball over her head that Sky Blue goalkeeper Karen Bardsley had to parry over the bar for one of the 12 corners that the Red Stars created (10 in the first half). Brazilian international, Cristiane was replaced by Ella Masar in the 63rd minute adding a different energy. Masar (University of Illinois) is a workhorse but Chicago lost that dynamic aspect they had with Cristiane who got her first start of the season this evening. Cristiane is still in the process of buidling her fitness level back up coming off of an injury. Red Stars Head Coach Emma Hayes said about Cristiane, "At sixty minutes we didn’t want to push it, and she was tired to. It was a good sixty minutes to get under her belt.”

In extra time, Tarpley had a chance to score her 3rd goal of the season as she picked up a lose ball just inside the box and hit a well struck ball that Sky Blue, goalkeeper Jenni Branam cleaned up. Branam replaced Bardsley at halftime. “I was really happy with the way we attacked tonight", commented Tarpley, "I was proud of the team and the effort and I’m looking forward to continuing to build over the next few months.”

This was a new Chicago team, a different team than in the past 3 weeks.

According to Hayes, the Red Stars are a "free flowing and highly technical team." In order for a team like that to be successful they must have confidence in each other and knowing each others tendencies is a key component in the consistency of their play.

This inaugural season is young and you can still see everyone trying to learn each others tendencies - the timing and communication is yet to come. The atmosphere is exciting and the energy is endless.

Players on both teams seemed frustrated with the result because they thought they deserved something for their efforts but a very positive result for Sky Blue as they have struggled thus far without a win and then to go on the road to play against a solid Chicago group and then to add the poor conditions on top of that, they gain a point. Sawyer was pleased with the amount of chances his team had in the 2nd half but still have yet to find that finishing touch. “Coming away with the point on the road is not the perfect outcome. We played much better in the second half and created more chances", said Sawyers.

Up Next:
Sky Blue FC on Sunday, May 3rd at FC Gold Pride (Buck Shaw Stadium at Santa Clara, CA)
Chicago Red Stars on Saturday, April 25th vs Boston Breakers (Toyota Park at Bridgeview, IL)

Sky Blue FC – 1-Karen Bardsley (GK) (23-Jenni Branam 45’), 38-Julianne Sitch (D), 17-Keeley Dowling (D), 5-Anita Asante (D), 12-Meghan Schnur (D), 20-Kacey White (M), 4-Jen Buczkowski (M), 7-Kelly Parker (M) (6-Natasha Kai 62’), 14-Collette McCallum (F) (10-Yael Averbuch 85’), 9-Heather O’Reilly-Capt. (F), 8-Sarah Walsh (F)

Chicago Red Stars – 1-Caroline Jonsson (GK), 2-Marian Dalmy (D), 4-Ifeoma Dieke (D), 23-Nikki Krzysik (D), 6-Brittany Klein (D) (24-Jill Oakes 76’), 10-Carli Lloyd (M), 12-Chioma Igwe (M), 8-Megan Rapinoe (M), 5-Lindsay Tarpley-Capt. (M), 11-Cristiane (F) (3-Ella Masar 63’), 14-Karen Carney (F)

Shots: Chicago Red Stars, 18; Sky Blue FC, 7
Saves: Chicago Red Stars, 3; Sky Blue FC, 6
Corner Kicks: Chicago Red Stars, 12; Sky Blue FC, 5

Scoring: None

Referee: Jennifer Bennett
Referee's Assistants: Donald Dellavia; Kristine West4th official: Stephanie Toth

Attendance: 5,824
Weather: Rainy & 49 degrees

Cautions: Sky Blue FC – Julianne Sitch 26’, Meghan Schnur 60’; Chicago Red Stars – Ella Masar 78’

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fitzgerald Featured on

Thinking ahead is a key to advancing as a player. So says Jay Fitzgerald, director of the Western division at Sting Soccer in the Dallas-Fort Worth area... ESNN (Elite Soccer News Network )

Fitzgerald, who also heads JATO Athletics and works with the Dan Abdalla Horned Frog Soccer Academy, sees the progression of thought in the early teen years as a vital step for the development of young players. He describes his philosophy and approach to help young players advance.

Jay Fitzgerald"When it comes to thinking ahead, it all starts with being responsible for the ball. It involves knowing where you are going to go before you get it, and when the ball is coming to you, knowing your surroundings. You need to try to find the numbers that will be advantageous for your team, and the areas of the field where the most space is. You need to see all of this."Next, you need to think if getting to these places can be done on the dribble, can it be done with a pass over distance, can it be done with linking the play with another player. I tell players to think ‘If the ball was to magically appear at your feet, even if it's really on the other side, where would you go with it. What would you do with the ball?'"Fitzgerald noted that U14 Girls players are already moving into their prime recruiting season, and that coaches are especially interested in how well players understand the simple tactics of the game."They need to be dangerous and effective on the ball. It starts with being able to take care of the ball, but you also have to survey your surroundings and know how to advance the ball," he said. "A lot of teams possess the ball and keep it, but don't really go anywhere with it. I understand you don't want to be the one to give it away so you make the simple pass, but if you just play simple all the time, you never really are getting outside your comfort level. You have to try and get yourself in to positive situations.Fitzgerald added there a number of exercises involving one and two-touch soccer that help players make quick decision on what do with the ball, and ultimately to think ahead.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

US Women's National Team Announces Domestic Schedule

USA vs. Japan - May 20, 2009 - 7:30 p.m. CT
Pizza Hut Park - Frisco, Texas - Tickets

USA vs. Japan - May 23, 2009 - 4 p.m. MT
Rio Tinto Stadium - Sandy, Utah - Tickets
Live on FSC & Fox Sports en Espanol

USA vs. Canada - July 19, 2009 - 3 p.m. ET
Rochester Rhinos Stadium - Rochester, N.Y. - Tickets
Live on ESPN

USA vs. Canada - July 22, 2009 - 8 p.m. ET
Blackbaud Stadium - Charleston, S.C. - Tickets
Live on FSC & Fox Sports en Espanol


Tuesday, April 14, 2009


JATO Media Production
Just 10 years after USA's momentous victory in the 1999 World Cup in front of 90,000 fans, which helped spawn the ill-fated Women's United Soccer Association, women's professional soccer is now back.JATO Media was at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA for the Inaugural Match of Women's Professional Soccer.

A new era in women's soccer was reborn where US National Team star, Abby Wambach and the Washington Freedom came into town to kick-off the Women's Professional Soccer League (WPS) against 3-time FIFA Player of the Year, Marta, and the Los Angeles Sol.

Monday, April 13, 2009


JATO provides athletes with a valuable experience necessary for excellence, making the good players better and introducing new players to sport. Our team of dedicated coaches encourages technical excellence and helps nurture these young athletes in attributes of balance, speed, attitude, and skill. We provide a professional atmosphere for our athletes to come on daily basis and enjoy some of the best coaching available. We are committed to the future of sport in our community and set the bench-work for others to follow by nurturing our homegrown talent, leading the way in youth development.

The following JATO Staff members have made a difference in the community and have also excelled within their own programs - congratulations to the following JATO Members...

Rick Adams---Coach of the Year 3-5A
Morgan Coffey---1st Team All-District
Morgan Tornga---1st Team All-District
Michelle Ingold---1st Team All-District
Lindsey Bradley---1st Team All-District
Emily Blake---MVP Defender of Year and 1st Team All-District
Sarah Ossa---2st Team All-District
Madeline Hamm---MVP Newcomer of Year and 1st Team All-District
Mary Bourland---2nd Team All-District
Kaytee O'Brien---1st Team All-District and 1st Team All-State

Sunday, April 12, 2009

JATO Partner, Chris Stricker Wins State

Chris Stricker and JATO have brought player and coach development to the metroplex through camps, clinics, and their one of a kind Monday Night Futbol Program. Stricker, who is the Head Women's Soccer Coach for Coppell High School, brought back the State Championship trophy over the weekend. Coppell defeated the Woodlands High School 3-2 in a back and forth UIL 5A State Championship Match in Georgetown, Texas. Strickers Cowgirls finished the season #4 in the Nation by ESPN Rise with a 25-4-4 record. Congratulations to Chris Stricker and his team. Come see Stricker at the JATO/Stricker Colleyville Summer Soccer Camp on June 22-26 at the Pleasant Run Complex in Colleyville.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Messi Stars in Barca Rout

Barcelona thrashed Bayern Munich 4-0 at the Nou Camp. The Spanish league leaders rampant strikeforce did the damage in a completely one-sided first half.

Liverpool Face a Bridge Too Far

Chelsea took a giant leap towards the Champions League semi-finals by beating Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield. Fernando Torres scored first but goals from Branislav Ivanoic (2) and Didier Drogba turned the game on its head to leave Rafael Benitez's men with a mountain to climb.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Last-Gasp Mariano Goal puts Porto in Position

On a night of high drama at Old Trafford, FC Porto fought back to earn a 2-2 at Manchester United FC thanks to an 89th-minute equaliser from substitute Mariano.

Adebayor Acrobatics Give Arsenal the Edge

Emmanuel Adebayor's brilliant overhead effort cancelled out an equally spectacular strike from Marcos Senna to put Arsenal FC in a strong position in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Villarreal CF. Arsenal 1 - Villarreal 1

Monday, April 6, 2009

UEFA Champions League Facts and Figures

All you need to know about this week's first legs in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. What's the history between the two teams and who has the edge from past contests? Which sides are looking to overturn the weight of history? Who's performing well on the domestic front? Find out below.

Manchester United FC v FC Porto
• United are unbeaten in 21 matches in the UEFA Champions League and enter this contest also aiming to extend a run of 19 games without defeat at Old Trafford in the competition.

• Porto have never won in England, where ten of eleven visits have ended in defeat, although the one occasion when they did avoid defeat – a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in the 2003/04 first knockout round second leg – eliminated United from the competition.

• This is United's 15th quarter-final tie in Europe's élite club competition and their record is: P14 W10 L4.

• Sir Alex's men beat AS Roma at this stage in both 2007 and 2008 and are now seeking a third consecutive semi-final appearance – a first for the English champions.

• Porto have won three of their five quarter-finals in Europe's premier club competition and have triumphed in two of the clubs' three previous two-legged contests.

Villarreal CF v Arsenal FC
• This tie is a repeat of the 2005/06 semi-final, won 1-0 by Arsenal thanks to Kolo Touré's first-leg goal in the last European match played at Highbury – although the London club needed a last-minute penalty save by Jens Lehmann from Juan Román Riquelme in the second leg to escape El Madrigal with a goalless draw.

• Villarreal's record against English clubs is: P9 W3 D5 L1. At home their record is: P5 W2 D3 L0. In those five past meetings with English opposition at El Madrigal, they conceded just one goal scored, curiously, by a Spaniard – Everton FC's Mikel Arteta.

• Arsenal have lost three European finals to Spanish opposition. They lost 5-4 on penalties to Valencia CF following a goalless draw in the 1979/80 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final and succumbed 2-1 to Real Zaragoza in the final of the same competition in 1994/95 before a 2-1 defeat by FC Barcelona in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League final in Paris.

• That defeat by Barcelona was Robert Pirès' final appearance for Arsenal after six seasons with the club, during which he won two Premier League titles and two FA Cups. Voted the English Football Writers' Player of the Year in 2002, he made 284 appearances, scoring 84 goals, before moving to Villarreal in summer 2006.

• Villarreal have kept only four clean sheets in their last 30 matches in all competitions having managed six in their opening nine games this season. In contrast, Arsenal have kept clean sheets in six of their last eight Premier League games, and have conceded only four league goals in 2009 – all away from home – fewer than any other side.

FC Barcelona v FC Bayern München
• Bayern and Barcelona are the joint-highest scorers in this season's competition with 24 goals each from eight games. In Barcelona's case they have also conceded the most goals of any of the last-eight participants – eleven – and have still to keep a clean sheet on home soil.

• The visitors are looking to improve on a recent record of three consecutive defeats at this stage of the UEFA Champions League – in 2002, 2005 and 2007.

• Bayern have won three of the four previous meetings with Barcelona but the Liga leaders boast an impressive run of form against German opposition having won ten and drawn one of their last eleven matches against sides from the Bundesliga.

• Coaches Josep Guardiola and Jürgen Klinsmann were both in action when Barcelona and Bayern met for the first time in the semi-finals of the 1995/96 UEFA Cup. The teams drew 2-2 in Munich before Bayern – with Klinsmann again present, but Guardiola absent – advanced to the final with a 2-1 success at Camp Nou.

• Thierry Henry's next goal in the UEFA Champions League will be his 50th in the competition.

Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC
• This is the fourth time in five seasons the teams have met in the knockout stages, following semi-final contests in 2005, 2006 and 2008. On each previous occasion the team playing the second leg at home progressed.

• Five-times European champions Liverpool can take heart from home-and-away wins against their opponents in the Premier League this season – not to mention an unbeaten home run in the UEFA Champions League that stretches to ten matches, including qualifiers.

• Both teams have formidable recent records when it comes to surmounting this particular hurdle: Liverpool won quarter-finals in 2005, 2007 and 2008, while Chelsea advanced in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008.

• Chelsea have not won any of their last six away matches in the UEFA Champions League, while Liverpool are unbeaten in five home meetings with Chelsea and won the last Anfield encounter 2-0 in February thanks to Fernando Torres goals after 89 and 90 minutes.

• Liverpool have won four of six previous two-legged contests against English sides in UEFA club competition. In addition to their UEFA Champions League successes against Arsenal FC in last season's quarter-finals and those Chelsea ties, they beat Tottenham Hotspur FC on away goals in the 1972/73 UEFA Cup semi-finals following a 2-2 aggregate draw.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

WPS Inaugural Match Fox Soccer Highlights

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Los Angeles Sol defeat Washington Freedom, 2-0, in WPS Inaugural Match

CARSON, Calif. (March 29, 2009) - The Los Angeles Sol officially kicked off the 2009 Women’s Professional Soccer season with a 2-0 victory over the Washington Freedom in front of 14,832 fans in the WPS Inaugural Match at The Home Depot Center on the campus of California State University – Dominguez Hills Sunday afternoon.

The first goal in club and league history was recorded in the sixth minute of the match, when Los Angeles defender Allison Falk out-jumped a crowd of Freedom defenders in the penalty area to head in a free kick from Japanese national team star Aya Miyama.

“It was a great ball from Aya. I just went for it – I didn’t think I was going to get to it, but I did and it went in,” said the rookie from Stanford. “It was a very surreal experience … very exciting."

Sol midfielder Camille Abily (France) tallied the second of the afternoon in the 87th minute, taking a short pass from three-time defending FIFA World Player of the Year Marta, and chipping the ball over the hands of Freedom keeper Brianna Scurry.

“We’re really happy with the victory,” said Los Angeles Sol Head Coach Abner Rogers. “We dodged a few bullets and we came out with a good victory … it is only going to get better.”

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lady Vikings Head Coach, Jay Fitzgerald will be sending live Tweets from the WPS Inaugural match at Also,follow Midfielder Aly Wagner at and LA Sol General Manager Charlie Namo at as they tweet live from the WPS Inaugural Match (Sun Mar 29).

Nolan Catholic Video on

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Women's Soccer League to Allow In-Game 'Tweets'

The new Women's Professional Soccer league will allow selected players to post short Twitter notes, called "tweets," during its inaugural game between the Los Angeles Sol and Washington Freedom on March 29, league communications director Robert Penner said.

General managers from the new seven-team league approved the idea in a conference call Friday. Depending on fan response, league officials are considering allowing players to tweet during games all season.

They still must work out some of the details, including which players will tweet and when they'll be allowed to do so; starters, obviously, likely would be limited to pregame, postgame and halftime.

Marta Set to Star in the WPS with Flair

Wednesday, March 25, 2009
By: Hillary Read

The first time a women’s professional soccer league launched, it pinned its hopes largely on the girl-next-door appeal of U.S. superstar Mia Hamm.

Don’t look now, but there’s a new league at hand and a new superstar at the fore. And she ain’t your mamma’s Mia.

A quick search on YouTube will give budding soccer fans all they need to know about the new face of the sport: Los Angeles Sol forward Marta Vieira da Silva, known throughout the soccer world simply as Marta, the 23-year-old Brazilian whipsaw with three FIFA World Player of the Year awards to her name and a world-class collection of embarrassed defenders in her wake.

“She may be the one star in L.A.,” Sol General Manager Charlie Naimo said of the woman who can list Kobe Bryant among her many admirers, “who is, inarguably, the very best at what she does.”

Try to get her to admit that, though – if Marta, who made her first real inroads into U.S. soccer consciousness by single-handedly destroying the U.S. in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup semis, shares a quality with Hamm, it’s her determination to put team first.

“I came here to be one piece of the puzzle,” she said, speaking through an interpreter (she speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish, and her English is rapidly improving). “My objective is to be one member of the group, working hard to do all I can to achieve positive results. I didn’t come to be a star.”

Marta is determined to put her team, the Los Angeles Sol, first.“Everywhere we go, people know who she is. But after one week, she had fit in. She’s exceeded all expectations,” Naimo said. “She’s very humble. You just watch her compete – her facial expressions, the way she attacks – and you think she’s pretty tough, but she’s embraced by everybody. There’s no jealousy. Because she’s such a good person, everybody just wants to support her.”

She may be doing her best not to stand out, but as her highlight reel attests, she’ll have to tie her legs together to avoid it. Her breathtaking blend of speed, vision, agility, and creative fury blazes a neon trail on every field.

“You don’t need to know all the nuances of the sport to appreciate her gifts,” WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci said. “It’s fun to watch her confuse and destroy defenses; she’s really, at this point, two clicks ahead of most of the competition chasing her.”

For a fledgling league trying to get a foothold in a turbulent economy, the pressure would seem to be on its most decorated star to perform. But Marta, who’s had enough to do trying to get used to life in L.A. and the dynamics of her new team, isn’t letting on.

“The pressure will always be there, whether it’s from outside people or people within the league,” she said. “But after all is said and done, we just have to face them head-on and do the best we can to succeed.”

“If anything, I think the pressure might be reduced for her,” Antonucci said. “She’s not playing a limited number of do-or-die games for her country in the Olympics or World Cup; she’s here to play a full season of soccer throughout the spring and summer, to win a championship for L.A. and entertain the fans. I think she may even take more chances out there. She’s got 20 games to test out some new moves.”

That WPS boasts Marta as one of its featured attractions, alongside U.S. stars like Abby Wambach and Kristine Lilly, underscores the game’s international momentum, which has come a long way from the WUSA’s heavy reliance on home-grown talent.

“Marta, Kelly Smith (England national team/Boston Breakers), Formiga (Brazil national team/FC Gold Pride) – it’s so important to have these guys in the league, to let the rest of the world know we’re serious,” Naimo said.

“It was league-defining to get her signed, especially since we’re advertising ourselves as the world’s best women’s soccer league,” Antonucci said. “And although the U.S. has traditionally dominated with athleticism and skill, there’s something else going on now; you see fans getting excited about the growing creativity and free nature of the sport. I think this infusion of international talent can bring more rhythmic attack and flair to the U.S. game.”

Flair will be on full display in Sunday’s WPS opener between Los Angeles and Washington, with bruising Freedom frontliner Wambach providing a neat counterpoint to Marta’s flash.

“I think it says a lot about the quality of the league that each of the teams has players who play at a very high level, players from all over the world,” Marta said. “This has been a time of getting to know each other, getting used to everyone’s game. And it’s been going well so far.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Women's Professional Soccer is Back

Where are you watching your favorite WPS Inaugural Match? Will you be at home watching Fox Soccer Channel? Will you be with friends and fellow fans at a viewing party in your hometown? Or are you lucky enough to be in a WPS stadium?

No matter where you are on game day, we want to hear about it! Take a picture, record a video, or write a message that captures the excitement of your WPS Inaugural.

Send it all to:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

UEFA Champions League Update

UEFA Champions League holders Manchester United FC will take on 2004 winners FC Porto while Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC are matched again in the quarter-finals after the draw for the remainder of the competition was made today in Nyon.

United Bid
United were beaten by Porto when the Portuguese side won the competition, with the English titleholders aiming to become the first team to successfully defend the trophy since the UEFA Champions League was introduced in 1992/93. The winners of that tie will play the side that emerges from the tie involving Villarreal CF, the only surviving team never to have reached a UEFA Champions League final, and Arsenal FC, the club that defeated the Spanish outfit at this juncture three seasons ago.
Rivals Rematched
Chelsea and Liverpool have faced off in the semi-finals in three of the past four campaigns but they meet a stage earlier this time round. The last-four opposition for the winners will be FC Barcelona or FC Bayern München, the two leading scorers in the competition this term with 24 goals apiece.
The quarter-final ties will take place on 7/8 and 14/15 April and the semi-finals on 28/29 April and 5/6 May. The final will be held at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome, on Wednesday 27 May.
For full draw details, including dates, click here.

UEFA Champions League Quarter-Finals
1st leg: 07/08 April
2nd leg: 14/15 April
1 Villarreal CF (ESP) v Arsenal FC (ENG)
2 Manchester United FC (ENG, holders) v FC Porto (POR)
3 Liverpool FC (ENG) v Chelsea FC (ENG)
4 FC Barcelona (ESP) v FC Bayern München (GER)

UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals
1st leg: 28/29 April
2nd leg: 5/6 May
Winner quarter-final 2 v Winner quarter-final 1
Winner quarter-final 4 v Winner quarter-final 3

UEFA Champions League Final
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Wednesday 27 May