On May 9, 2010, Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Karen Bardsley made 13 saves as her team defeated the Atlanta Beat 1-0 in the grand opening of KSU Soccer Stadium. Atlanta dominated the match, but Bardsley made some super human saves to help Sky Blue FC escape with a 1-0 victory. For her efforts, Bardsley was named the Week 5 Player of the Week in 2010.
Almost a year later, Alli Lipsher has turned the tables. She was named the WPS Player of the Week for Week 2 after making 11 saves in Atlanta’s 1-0 victory over Sky Blue FC on Saturday. Sky Blue FC dominated play, out-shooting Atlanta 18-4 on the evening. Several key saves from Lipsher preserved the win for Atlanta, though, and the Beat earned its first victory of 2011.
Meanwhile, Bardsley was on the wrong end of a sloppy Atlanta goal on Saturday. It seems that when these two teams meet at KSU Soccer Stadium in the early part of the season, the dominant team is likely to lose thanks to superior goalkeeping. Atlanta losing that May 9 match last year was highway robbery for Sky Blue FC and Saturday’s Beat victory screams of some sweet payback.
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