Pali Blues News Release - www.bluessoccerclub.com
Saturday, July 20, 2013
LOS ANGELES – The Pali Blues will host the LA Strikers in the W-League Western Conference Championship on Sunday at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium in hopes of advancing to the W-League Championship presented by Nike July 26-28 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Pali had to wait until the last game of the regular season to clinch a playoff spot. The Blues defeated the Santa Clarita Blue Heat 2-0 on Sunday, with Ashley Freyer providing both goals. The result gave Pali first place in the Western Conference table with 26 points and an 8-2-2 overall record, and the right to host the conference championship.
Pali’s two losses this year were against the Strikers, who earned their first pair of wins against the Blues in three seasons. The Blues’ two draws came against the Seattle Sounders in a scoreless game, and against the Bay Area Breeze in a match that ended 2-2.
The Strikers finished the season with an 8-4-0 record, losing the home and away fixtures against the Sounders, their away game against the Santa Clarita Blue Heat, and a home game against the Bay Area Breeze. The Strikers made an impressive run to the playoffs, coming back from fourth place in the standings to defeat the Colorado Rush at home, and following up with two road victories in Colorado against the Rush and the Rapids a week later.
With the Sounders losing to the Bay Area on the last day of the regular season, the Strikers finished the season in second place, two points behind the Blues.
In the first meeting of the year between the two, the Blues fell to the Strikers 2-0 at home thanks to goals from Jamie Bell and LeAndra Walker. The Blues could not redeem themselves when the Strikers hosted them later in the season, this time falling 2-1. Mel Fernandez and Jamie Bell scored for LA, while Mele French scored the lone goal for the visiting Blues.
Sunday’s match will be for much more than making up for those two losses, however. The Blues will look to become Western Conference champions for the second consecutive year and continue on to play against the other conference champions at the W-League Championship.
The match will kick off at 12:30 p.m. PT at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State University, Fullerton. Tickets are still available at www.bluessoccerclub.com/tickets.