July 21, 2012
PLAYING FOR POSITION
NY Fury have slim shot at first place
The New York Fury close out the 2012 WPSL Elite League season on Sunday against the Chicago Red Stars at Hofstra University at 7:00 pm.
With the Boston Breakers, Western New York Flash, Fury and Red Stars all having qualified for the league playoffs, the two league matches on Sunday will determine the final standings.
The winner of the Boston-Western New York match (4:00 pm ET) will take the regular season title, although a tie in the game and a win by the Fury could put all three teams level at 31 points, setting up a tie breaker scenario which will come down to goal differential. The Fury will only be in contention for first place with a win. The Red Stars cannot win the league, but can finish as high as second place.
The Fury are coming off their seventh shutout, a 2-0 win over FC Indiana on Thursday.
The Fury scored early and late, getting on the board in the 17th minute, when Merritt Mathias' corner kick over the penalty area landed at the feet of Kim Yokers, and Yokers fired the ball into the lower right corner of the net.
Though the Fury peppered FC Indiana all game, forcing goalkeeper Geralda Santillis to make five saves, they didn't break the ice for a second goal until the final seconds when Allie Longís cross sailed over Santillis and deflected off an Indiana defender and into the net for an own goal.
"Three more clean sheets will probably win us a championship, so that's our goal," said Fury coach Paul Riley. The league playoffs are not unfamiliar turf for Riley and many of his Fury players, who were together for two championship game runs with the Philadelphia Independence of the Women's Professional Soccer the last two seasons.
The WPSL Elite playoffs start Wednesday, July 25, at Sahlenís Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. The first and fourth-place finishers and second and third place teams face each other, and the winners advance to the WPSL Elite Championship, which will be held Saturday, July 28, at 1 p.m. ET at Sahlenís Stadium.