2012 W-League Championship
Friday, July 27, 2012
OTTAWA, ON - The Ottawa Fury held on to a 44th-minute goal by Lydia Hastings and defeated D.C. United Women 1-0 on Friday night advancing to the W-League Championship game for the second consecutive year.
D.C. United came into the game with an 11-0-1 record having not trailed at the half yet this season. In the early stages, however, it was Ottawa that looked the more likely to score.
Posing problems throughout the game, Leni Kaurin picked out Hastings in the 10th minute but she couldn’t redirect the header on target. Seven minutes later the first clear chance fell to the Fury. D.C. United cleared but Kaurin controlled from the top of the box and volleyed over D.C. United goalkeeper Didi Haracic who was caught out. Lianne Sanderson headed clear to keep the score 0-0.
Moments later, Haracic came up big smothering a loose ball after a flurry in the box. With both teams settling in and looking a threat it was D.C. United’s turn in the 22nd as Hayley Siegel tested Jasmine Phillips from range.
With the game looking poised to go to half scoreless it was Ottawa that found the breakthrough. Again, it was Kaurin in the thick of the action. Her cross from the right flank found Hastings in the box. Hastings did well to control in front of goal and get the shot off. Haracic forced her to shoot high off the crossbar but Hastings found her own rebound to slot home just before the whistle.
D.C. United came out flying in the second half with Sanderson seemingly everywhere on the pitch. Four minutes into the half Sanderson looked for Holly King in the box but her touch got away and Phillips came out to save. It was again Sanderson in the thick of it in the 68th minute but again Phillips was up to the task.
"You know I think we fell into a little bit of a trap there just defending the last little while," Fury Head Coach Dom Oliveri said. "We encourage the players to push forward a bit. And that’s something we’ll need to fix for Sunday’s game. We can’t give Pali that much time and space."
With D.C. searching for the equalizer and pressing forward Ottawa found space in the counter-attack. Mallory Outerbridge entered the game replacing Kaurin and immediately opened the game up winning a free kick just outside the box. Lisa-Marie Woods’ shot narrowly skipped past the right post.
Ottawa’s back line held firm throughout the game and with D.C. desperately pushing forward were able to thwart any in-roads by the opposition.
With the support of the home crowd behind them the Fury held on until the final whistle to advance to their second consecutive W-League Championship match.
"You know what? I think this crowd was amazing tonight," Phillips said. "It could do nothing but help us"
"Honestly, it’s great to win at home," Oliveri added. "It’s great to win in front of our home fans. And it’s good to be back in the final. Obviously, we lost last year and we want to avenge that loss, so that was the first step tonight."
The Fury will go up against the Western Conference Champion Pali Blues on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET looking to capture their first W-League title.