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July 2, 2012
Week in review: D.C. United Women Clinch Division

GERMANTOWN, Md. – The D.C. United Women claimed their first division crown as they took a 4-1 victory against the Fredericksburg Impact on Saturday night at the Maryland Soccerplex. Lianne Sanderson had two goals and an assist for United to lead her side to victory.

United took a quick two-goal lead, Tiffany Brown finishing off a long throw-in by Sam Baker to open the scoring in the seventh minute before Sanderson bagged her first from distance two minutes later. The Impact responded, however, and pulled a goal back a minute after Sanderson’s as Kristen Lybert took a pass from Cortlyn Bristol at the left side of the penalty area and fired home.

D.C. restored its two-goal advantage in the 26th minute, with Sanderson this time playing provider as the former England international found Mikaela Howell for her team-leading eighth goal of the season. Sanderson then added her second eight minutes after the halftime break to cap the victory, and clinch the Atlantic Division.

: The Pali Blues rallied from an early deficit to defeat the Vancouver Whitecaps Women at Palisades High School as Michella Pao and Danielle Hubka each scored to bolster their side’s lead at the top of the Western Conference.

Vancouver took the lead in the seventh minute as Jenna Richardson stole possession from Blues defender Whitney Engen before calmly finishing, but the Blues gained the lead before halftime with two goals in eight minutes. Pao had the first, in the 28th minute, as her shot from inside the penalty area found the back of the net, and Hubka followed her by heading home Lynn Williams’ cross to put Pali ahead.

The Blues now hold a nine-point lead in the conference over the Seattle Sounders Women with three games to play, all of which come on home turf beginning this Friday when they host the Colorado Rapids Women.

: The Rochester Ravens took their first victory of the season as a late rally moved them off the bottom of the Central Conference, jumping past the London Gryphons in the process.

London had taken the lead in the 66th minute through Melissa Bigg, but the Ravens began their rally with 10 minutes to go as Haley Marks finished off a chance created by Ashley Grove to equalize. The duo of Marks and Grove switched roles in the 84th minute as Grove gave her side the lead, and Sarah Henderson capped the scoring a minute later to seal the victory.

: The New Jersey Wildcats kept their playoff hopes alive as they claimed a victory against the New York Magic at Saint John Vianney Stadium. The Wildcats sit in third place in the Northeast Division after the weekend’s action, four points behind the Long Island Rough Riders with three games to play.

Esmeralda Negron had a pair of goals for the Wildcats, but it was the Magic who took the lead in the 22nd minute when Yuiko Inoue split the New Jersey defense to find Toni Smith, who shot past an advancing goalkeeper. The Wildcats hit back after the break, though, as Andrea Lopez’s cross from the left found Negron, who fired home the equalizer.

Negron then gave the Wildcats the lead 10 minutes later, with Lopez again picking up the assist as Negron gathered in a shot before firing home herself. Tori Leigh then sealed the win with six minutes to go as she headed home Yael Averbuch’s corner kick.

COLORADO RAPIDS 1, SEATTLE SOUNDERS WOMEN 0: The Colorado Rapids Women got a goal from Lexi Tagen to take an important win against the Seattle Sounders Women at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, helping keep the Rapids in with a chance at the playoffs.

Tagen’s goal came in the 22nd minute as she was able to latch onto a pass from Katrine Korsgaard before firing home from just outside the penalty area. Keelin Winters came close to an equalizer twice for the Sounders before the break, and Seattle continue to press into the second half. Rapids goalkeeper Lauren Robertson was able to earn her shutout, and the Rapids their fourth win of the season.

OTTAWA FURY 3, HAMILTON FC RAGE 0: The Ottawa Fury increased their lead at the top of the Central Conference with a victory against the Hamilton FC Rage at the Algonquin College Soccer Complex.

The Fury took the lead in the fifth minute as Courtney Wetzel turned home Gillian Baggot’s header from inside the six-yard box. Wetzel then added an assist in the 21st minute as she picked up a pass from Mallory Outerbridge and found Lisa Marie-Woods for the Fury’s second. Kaitlyn Ryan added a third late in the second half to cap the Fury’s win, keeping them perfect at home this season.

The Fury are now seven points clear of the second-place Laval Comets with three games remaining in their regular-season schedule as they prepare to host the 2012 W-League Championship Weekend at the end of the month.

: : The North Jersey Valkyries took a key victory against the New York Magic as they boosted their playoff hopes at Iona College through goals by Ashley Clarke and Alicia Tirelli.

Tirelli gave the Valkyries an early lead, her second goal of the season, and Jasmin Corniel twice came close to adding to North Jersey’s lead before the break, only to be denied each time by Magic goalkeeper Caitlin Hoffer.

The Valkyries were able to add to their lead early in the second half, however, as Clarke scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season. The Magic pulled a goal back through Aya Noguchi, but North Jersey held on to pull within two points of the Long Island Rough Riders in the Northeast Division while holding a game in hand.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS WOMEN 4, COLORADO RUSH 1: Veronica Perez had a hat trick as the Seattle Sounders Women completed their Colorado road trip with an important victory against the Colorado Rush at Valor Christian Stadium.

Perez opened the scoring in the ninth minute, but the Rush soon got back on even terms as Danica Evans scored her fourth goal of the season eight minutes later. The Sounders took the lead for good six minutes before halftime, however, as Perez added her second, and the Mexican international completed her hat trick six minutes after the halftime break to give her nine goals this season.

Megan Manthey added a fourth with 17 minutes to go for the Sounders, who now sit six points ahead of the Rush with four games to play in the regular season.

Tuesday, June 26

D.C. United 2, Northern Virginia 0

Wednesday, June 27
North Jersey 5, NJ Rangers 1
Pali 2, Vancouver 1

Friday, June 29
Quebec City 1, Laval 0
Northern Virginia at Dayton, ppd.
Rochester 3, London 1
L.A. Strikers 3, Vancouver 3

Saturday, June 30
NJ Wildcats 3, New York 1
Long Island 6, NJ Rangers 0
Colorado Rapids 1, Seattle 0
Central SC 3, Tampa 2
Ottawa 3, Hamilton 0

Sunday, July 1
Dayton 0, Northern Virginia 0
Seattle 4, Colorado Rush 1
North Jersey 2, New York 1
D.C. United 4, Fredericksburg 1
Vancouver 2, Santa Clarita 1
Tampa 1, FC Jax 0

Wednesday, July 4

London at Toronto, 11 a.m. ET
Colorado at Santa Clarita, 4 p.m. PT
Ottawa at Laval, 7:30 p.m. ET

Friday, July 6
Colorado Rapids at Pali, 3 p.m. PT
Quebec City at Rochester, 7 p.m. ET
Colorado Rush at LA Strikers, 7 p.m. PT

Saturday, July 7
Toronto at Ottawa, 3 p.m. ET
London at Rochester 4 p.m. ET
NJ Rangers at North Jersey, 4 p.m. ET
Atlanta at Tampa, 5 p.m. ET
Central SC at Charlotte, 5:30 p.m. ET
Virginia Beach at Northern Virginia, 7 p.m. ET
Dayton at D.C. United, 7 p.m. ET
Colorado Rapids at Santa Clarita, 7 p.m. PT

Sunday, July 8
Quebec City at Hamilton, 1 p.m. ET
Colorado at Pali, noon PT
Atlanta at FC Jax, 4:30 p.m. ET
Virginia Beach at Fredericksburg, 5 p.m. ET
New York at Long Island, 5 p.m. ET
Victoria at Vancouver, 4 p.m. PT

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