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Vancouver wins 2004 W-League Title
Whitecaps become first Canadian champs with 4-2 penalty kick tiebreaker decision
Sunday, August 8, 2004
 
OTTAWA, ON -- Two of the top three teams in scoring on the season, New Jersey and Vancouver displayed their defensive prowess in the match, needing penalty kicks to decide the scoreless affair as the top two seeds finished their seasons unbeaten. Vancouver became the first Canadian team to win the title, however, with a 4-2 decision in the tiebreaker.

Although Vancouver had the advantage in possesion and applied more offensive pressure throughout the game, it was New Jersey who saw the best chances at finding the back of the net in regulation.

Despite Randee Hermus' excellent marking that kept 2004 W-League Scoring Champion and French international Marinette Pichon from seeing limited touches on the ball, Pichon had two good chances, one in each half.

Pichon got the ball at the top of the box in the 22nd minute and just misses an 18-yarder at the far post.

In the 54th minute, Finland international Anne Makinen picked off a pass out of the back, beat a defender and ripped a 25-yard shot that bent just wide of the left post.

In the 71st minute, Makinen charged up the left side and slipped the ball into the box to Pichon, who turned in front of Hermus and ripped a 14-yard shot on goal, but Vancouver goalkeeper Erin McLeod was there.

In overtime, it was Vancouver with the best chance as Amber Allen got the ball behind the New Jersey defense in the box 10 yards out and after chesting it down was unable to get it past New Jersey goalkeeper Amanda Brown in the 102nd minute.

New Jersey's top two players Anne Makinen and Marinette Pichon opened the penalty kick tiebreaker with misses as Makinen's went wide left and Pichon's high. Vancouver's Martina Franko and Andrea Neil put the Whitecaps in the driver's seat converting theirs as teammate Kara Lang scored in the third round and goalkeeper Erin McLeod won it with a conversion in the fourth to give Vancouver, who had been eliminated via penalty kicks in the postseason twice before, their first title.

Defender Randee Hermus was honored as the 2004 W-League Championship Most Valuable Player for her efforts.

Penalty Kick Summary

NJ - Makinen - missed left; VAN - Franko - scored
NJ - Pichon - missed high; VAN - Neil - scored
NJ - St Louis - scored; VAN - Lang - scored
NJ - Makoski - scored; VAN - McLeod - scored

Vancouver 4 :: 2 New Jersey
 
Third Place Game: Ottawa gives Canada two of top three places
 
In the Third Place match, the championship host, Ottawa Fury defeated the Chicago Cobras 1-0 to finished third and improve their "final four" record to 1-3 lifetime.  Ottawa participated in last year's championship tournament, losing both games at Virginia Beach.

Ottawa's Amy Vermeulen scored the games lone goal at the 11th minute on a great pass from Rhian Wilkinson. Fury goalkeeper Leisha Alica earned her 11th shutout of the W-League season in the victory.


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