(Photo by Elaine Carroll) The Atlanta Silverbacks Women opened up their 2012 W-League season with a win, defeating the Central SC Cobras, 1-0, Friday night at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
The Silverbacks Women (1-0-0), the defending W-League champions, picked up right where they left off last season, controlling the tempo and creating several scoring chances early on in the game. Women’s forward Elizabeth Guess was in the thick of the home team’s attack in the opening stages, testing Cobras goalkeeper Christina Reuter several times.
The Women continued to put pressure on the Cobras (0-1-1) defense, and it nearly paid off in the 22nd minute on a shot from midfielder Jamie Pollock. The former University of Georgia standout’s effort came close to finding the upper corner of the net, but flew just wide.
The breakthrough finally came in the 41st minute after women’s forward Tiffani Turpin was hauled down in the penalty area by Cobras defender Meghan Wetzel. Midfielder Stacey Balaam coolly converted the ensuing penalty kick, giving the women a deserved 1-0 lead.
The Cobras created their best offensive chance of the game in the 58th minute when substitute forward Olivia Moore brought out the best in women’s goalkeeper Ashley Baker. Moore blasted an effort towards the upper corner of the net, but Baker dove high to her left to tip the shot wide and maintain her team’s one-goal advantage.
The save was the only major contribution Baker was forced to make after a strong performance from the women’s defense.
The home team pushed for a second goal and substitute forward Nkese Udoh came close to doubling her team’s lead in the 87th minute, but Reuter was up to the task, diving to her left to hold on to Udoh’s shot.
Guess had the last opportunity to extend the women’s lead in stoppage time, but her left-footed shot struck the crossbar and fell out of play.
The Silverbacks remain home next week to host the VSI Tampa Flames on Friday, May 25, at 7 p.m. at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
To purchase tickets, click here.