By CHRISTA MANN
The playoffs continue in Women's Pro Soccer as SKy Blue FC (NJ) takes on the St. Louis Athletica in today's Playoff Semifinal. The winner of this match-up will go on to face the L.A. Sol in Saturday's WPS Championship.
The Athletica finished second in the regular season which was enough to automatically qualify for today's semifinal. A stretch of solid results has proved the overall strength of this team; however St. Louis had some midfield containment issues in its last game of the regular season. A first round bye has given St. Louis 10 days to get back on track before the team's first post season match.
SBFC is a team that barely made the playoffs after an up and down regular season. After a huge First Round win over the Washington Freedom, SBFC now has the confidence to control possession on the ground instead of always looking for to play Kai in over the top. The team looks strong under player/coach Christie Rampone, but a recent knock to goalkeeper Jenni Branam's knee may force a heavier work load on the New Jersey defense.
So how have they fared head to head?
In three regular season meetings, St. Louis is a perfect 3-0 against SBFC. Scorelines of 1-0, 2-1, and 1-0 put the odds clearly in in the Athletica's favor of another 2-1 win. SBFC has struggled to create chances against the strong St. Louis back line, but the most unpredictable team in WPS always finds a way to get at least one good chance.
Perhaps the underdog can pull off another upset? Share your thoughts below.