Sports

Stanford grad O'Hara injured while leading Gold Pride to win

 

With Stanford grad Kelley O'Hara scoring two goals and assisting on another, FC Gold Pride (16-3-5) wrapped up the regular WPS season with a 4-1 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Independence on Saturday night at Cal State East Bay in Hayward.

The Pride (16-3-5) completed the regular-season sweep of third place Independence, turning in a dominant performance that didn't end as well as it could have.

O'Hara, the game's star, left the match in the 55th minute with pain in her right quadriceps. She was given crutches as a precautionary measure, and will be re-evaluated early next week by FC Gold Pride medical and training staff.

"It was bittersweet seeing her get hurt," said Pride coach Albertin Montoya. "She was playing the best game she's played this season and after seeing her get those two goals you could see her confidence rise. She'll be going in for an MRI on Monday and we'll hope for the best because she's very important to our team, but this team has found a way all season long to play well with whoever we have out on the field."

For the WPS regular-season champion, the victory marks the team's 16th of the season and extends its WPS record unbeaten streak to 13 games.

The Pride will now prepare to host the WPS Championship match on Sunday, September 26.

In an exciting final day of regular-season competition on Saturday, the final four teams were solidified in the playoffs. With a late goal in its Saturday evening match, Washington Freedom snatched up the fourth and final playoff spot joining the Philadelphia Independence, Boston Breakers and FC Gold Pride in the postseason. The Pride will keep a close eye on the playoff race as they await the winner of the Super Semifinal.

The postseason fate of both FC Gold Pride and the Philadelphia Independence was sealed before the first half concluded, but that didn't stop the teams from putting their all into the match. Both sides came out firing as the first half proved to be an exciting one as the teams exchanged opportunities in front of the net.

The Pride turned it on just before the close of the half as O'Hara put away an unassisted goal in the 40th minute to put the Pride up 1-0. Less than a minute later, the Pride would strike again -- this time by the 2010 Puma Golden Boot winner, Marta, who netted her league-leading 19th goal of the season. The four-time FIFA World Player of the Year tracked down a perfectly threaded through ball from O'Hara and fired off a shot that found the side netting near the far post.

The Bay Area team kept its momentum going coming out of half time, getting on the board again as O'Hara scored her second goal of the game. For O'Hara, this goal marked her sixth of the season and the first multi-goal game of her professional career.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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