The Atlanta Silverbacks Women secured the Atlantic Division title and a spot in the Central Conference playoffs tonight when they beat the Fredericksburg Lady Gunners 5-0 at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. The three-year old W-League franchise will make its first playoff appearance on Friday, July 27th in Minnesota against the Midwest Division’s second place team which will be determined at the conclusion of the regular season tomorrow evening.
The Silverbacks started the scoring in the 4th minute when Christine Latham ripped a shot from the right side the box into the upper left corner of the net beyond the outstretched arms of Fredricksburg keeper Aly Pont; Katie Eriksson assisted Latham on the goal. The ‘Backs doubled their lead in the 24th minute when Sarah Steinmann finished a goal from an assist by Krista Davey, her fifth assist of the season. In the 32nd minute, Davey joined the scoring party when she broke free of the last Gunners defender and beat Pont with a low shot into the left side of the net as the Silverbacks padded their lead at 3-0. The ‘Backs maintained possession for the final minutes of the half and took their three goal lead into the locker room.
The second half began much like the first with Latham scoring a goal in the 4th minute of play – she took the ball off a Fredericksburg defender’s foot, dribbled past the goalkeeper, and easily placed the ball into the net. Candace West, the Silverbacks’ 16-year-old rising star, netted her first W-League goal in the 75th minute off a cross from Kay Harbrueger. The Silverbacks continued to dominate and easily sealed their playoff fate with the 5-0 win, taking their first Atlantic Division title and their first playoff appearance.
Atlanta’s starters: Melanie Wilson, Ronda Brooks, Katie Eriksson, Rebecca Hall (Carolyn Ford - 66), Sharolta Nonen, Krista Davey (Candace West - 59), Tara Minnax (Annette Filiatrault – 71), Melanie Schneider (Sara Power - 76), Monica Buff, Sarah Steinmann (Siobhan Rooney - 59), Christine Latham (Kay Harbrueger - 66).
Goals: Latham – 4 (Eriksson); Steinmann – 24 (Davey); Davey – 31 (Brooks); Latham – 49 (Steinmann); West – 75 (Harbrueger)
Fredericksburg starters: Aly Pont, Maria Muhammed, Sarah Wilkinson (Jen McMaster – 73), Hanna Edwards (Kendall Bartholomew – 45), Nicole Moore, Emily Chesbro, Katie Varney, Mallory Neff, Kristy Meyer, Marissa Meyer, Kana Blosser.
© Atlanta Silverbacks 2007 – All Rights Reserved.