ATLANTA, GA - The Atlanta Silverbacks will host the W-League Eastern Conference Semifinals and Championship on July 25th and July 26th. The winner will move on to the W-League Semifinals to vie for the 2008 Championship.
The Friday, July 25th match will feature the defending W-League champions, the Washington Freedom (11-1-2), and the Charlotte Lady Eagles (11-2-1). Kickoff is set for 5:00 PM.
Washington topped Atlanta last year in the 2007 Championship by a score of 1-3 and are seeking to defend their title. The Freedom are led by former U.S. National team member Christie Welsh. Welsh has tallied nine goals on the year, and leads the league with 81 shots. The Washington defense is anchored by goalie Chante Sandiford, who has allowed only five goals in 12 games. Meanwhile, the Lady Eagles have fallen just twice this year, with both losses coming at the hands of the Silverbacks.
Atlanta (13-0-1) enters the playoffs as one of three undefeated teams in a league of 41 clubs. Leading the way for the Silverbacks has been the talented duo of Sarah Steinmann and Christine Latham. Steinmann leads the league with a whopping 19 goals scored in 14 games, while Latham ranks third with 13 goals.
The two have paced an explosive Atlanta offense that seemingly scores at will. The Silverbacks tallied three goals in the final four minutes of the first half in the regular season home finale against the West Virginia Illusion on Saturday to help seal the perfect season in the 4-1 victory, in front of a record crowd of 1,941.
The Silverbacks will face either the Boston Renegades (9-3-2) or the Long Island Rough Riders (9-3-2). The Renegades travel to Long Island for the divisional matchup on Wednesday, July 23rd at 7:00 PM, with the winner advancing to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Kickoff for the Atlanta vs. Boston/Long Island match is set for 8:00 PM on July 25th. Atlanta has not dropped a home match in over two years, with the last loss coming on July 1st, 2006.
The W-League Semifinals and Championship will be hosted on July 31st and August 2nd, respectively, by the Hampton Roads Piranhas at the Virginia Beach SportsPlex. The Championship will be aired live on Fox Soccer Channel. Expansion side Pali Blues (12-0-0) has already punched its ticket to Virginia through their regular season title and will await the Central, Eastern, and Western Conference Champions.
The weekend at Atlanta Silverbacks Park is certain to have loads of offensive firepower, with three of the top four scorers in the league. Tickets for Friday’s doubleheader can be purchased for just $10. Tickets for Saturday’s match are set at $15, and a Weekend Pass for all three games is only $20.
Friday, July 25
5:00 PM – Charlotte Eagles vs. Washington Freedom
8:00 PM – Atlanta Silverbacks vs. Boston Renegades / Long Island Rough Riders
Saturday, July 26
8:00 PM – TBD
For tickets, please call 1-866-GO-BACKS. More information can be found at www.atlantasilverbacks.com.