|D.C. United Women Flying High with Another Win!|
(photo courtesy Tony Quinn/D.C. United Women)
The Black-and-Red struck early and often in the first half, kick-started by a Jerica DeWolfe header in the 9th minute. Molly Menchel sent a cross in from a corner kick to the center of the Fredericksburg penalty area, which would deflect off an Impact player right to DeWolfe who had been strategically perched in front of the left post. The second-year United Women midfielder/defender easily knocked the ball in for the first of three D.C. goals in a four-minute span.
"We've been waiting for a game like this," said D.C. Head Coach Mike Jorden after the match. "I think we've had a lot of performances where we've played well but just weren't finishing. Tonight we got the job done; we worked on set pieces in practice last night and tonight we finished."
Apparently, all the practice on set pieces paid off. Two of D.C. United Women's goals came on corners, and the team's final goal came on a deep cross from Herndon to Molly Menchel in the 27th minute. With the team already leading 4-0, Herndon raced down the right sideline and hit Menchel with an on-point aerial pass in-stride, making Menchel's job of heading the ball in relatively simple as the left back did most of the work just getting in front of goal in the first place.
"The ball was going to the center of the field, then it got out wide and I just took off," said Menchel on the build-up to her first goal of the season. "Ashley crossed it, lofted it right over the keeper and I just got a head on it."
Menchel would once again play the full 90 minutes, continuing her impressive streak of being on the pitch for every minute of every game for United Women this season.
Goals No. 2, 3 and 4 for D.C. United Women came in the 11th, 13th and 20th minutes, on two strikes from Lianne Sanderson and one from King. Sanderson scored her first two goals in a D.C. United Women uniform just two minutes apart from each other, the first coming on an assist from Carolyn Blank and the second coming in spectacular fashion on a one-touch volley after receiving a pass from Mikaela Howell.
"It was the best 20 minutes we've played all season," said Sanderson on the team's first half outbreak. "Obviously I was happy to score two goals but the main thing is that we won. I think we played really well tonight and I really enjoyed it."
Howell's assist would mark a seventh straight game in which she has recorded at least one point and add to her league-high assist total which reached six on Wednesday night.
Holly King's 20th minute goal came on a perfectly-placed corner kick by Molly Menchel. King used her height to elevate above the FASA defense and head-in her second goal of the season. Menchel tallied her first three points of the season with a goal and an assist in addition to playing yet another night of shutdown defense.
Menchel and the rest of the back line played perhaps its most dominant 90 minutes of the season yet, allowing goalkeeper Danielle DeLisle to face just four shots on the night, none of which were particularly threatening. With another clean sheet, the United Women back line still has not allowed a goal at home in four league matches this season. Menchel said the energy at the Maryland SoccerPlex paired with the dimensions of the field make it a great home field advantage for her and the rest of the defenders.
"It's nice because the field is so big and we've been able to keep the ball so we're defending less," she said. "When we [the team] keep the ball it's easy for us [defenders]."
The win for D.C. United Women continues an 11-game league win streak dating back to last season, the longest such streak currently in the 30-team W-League. However, the team is less focused on winning streaks and more keyed in on the road ahead as they move in on their ultimate goal of hosting the Eastern Conference playoffs.
"We've just got to keep it going. Eleven wins is obviously amazing but we've got to keep playing well as a team and getting results," said Sanderson on the streak. "Our aim from the beginning of the season is to get into the playoffs; we just need to keep taking it one game at a time... When you're a good team and you're unbeaten, everybody wants to beat you."
D.C. United Women will try to keep the streak alive on Saturday night in their second home match in a four-day span when they take on the Atlantic Division's second place Virginia Beach Piranhas at 7 p.m. The match will be Olympian Becky Sauerbrunn's home debut with the team.
D.C. United Women vs. FASA Impact- Match Report (June 20, 2012)
*D.C. United Women's W-League win streak reaches 11 matches dating back to 2011.
*D.C. United Women record fourth straight shutout at home in W-League play; have not allowed a goal at home in league play this season.
*D.C. United Women maintain only remaining perfect record in Eastern Conference; staying in the drivers seat to host the Eastern Conference Final Four Playoffs July 20-22.
*English international Lianne Sanderson scores first two goals of her D.C. United Women career.
*Molly Menchel has goal and an assist; her first three points of the season.
*Reigning W-League Player of the Week Mikaela Howell extends points streak to 7 with one assist.
Match: D.C. United Women vs. Fredericksburg Impact
Date: June 20, 2012
Competition: W-League Atlantic Division Regular Season
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Weather: Hot, humid
Scoring Summary (1 2 F)
D.C. 5 0 5
FASA 0 0 0
D.C. - DeWolfe (unassisted) 9nd minute
D.C. - Sanderson (Blank) 11th
D.C. - Sanderson (Howell) 13th
D.C. - King (Menchel) 20th
D.C. - Menchel (Herndon) 27th
Stats Summary: D.C. / FASA
Shots: 14 / 5
Saves: 4 / 3
Corners: 6 / 1
Fouls: 5 / 4
Offside: 3 / 2
Cautions and Ejections: None
Player of the Match: Sanderson (2 goals)