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Whitecaps women advance to final 4


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Whitecaps Women 4

Arizona Heatwave 0

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, BC (attendance: 3,272)


With a comprehensive 4-0 victory over the Arizona Heatwave, the Whitecaps won the Western Conference Final to book passage to the W-League Championship Tournament in Princeton, New Jersey. This is the fourth time in five years that Vancouver has reached the W-League's Final Four, as the Whitecaps look to repeat as North American Champions.

Katie Thorlakson netted the winner just 45 seconds into the game with a superb chip shot, while a second-half hat trick by top scorer Amber Allen removed any doubt of the outcome. Goalkeeper Sian Bagshawe only had to make five saves on 11 shots to record her ninth shutout of the year.

The Whitecaps now await the outcome of Sunday's Eastern Conference and Central Conference Finals to see which two teams will join them and the New Jersey Wildcats in the Championships. It's guaranteed that there will be a second Canadian team in the tournament as the Toronto Lady Lynx and Ottawa Fury play in the Eastern Final. The Charlotte Lady Eagles take on the Central Florida Krush in the Central Conference decider.

The W-League Semi-Finals will be played Friday, August 5, with the Finals going Sunday, August 7. Vancouver's opponent in the Semi-Final won't be known until Sunday when the other two conferences are decided. If Ottawa defeats Toronto, then Vancouver will play New Jersey. If Toronto upsets Ottawa, then the Whitecaps will play Charlotte should Charlotte advance, and Toronto otherwise.

Scoring Summary

1' Vanc Katie Thorlakson (Brittany Timko) Just 45 seconds into the game, Timko fed it ahead to Thorlakson who fired a looping 30-yard chip shot over the keeper and in off the underside of the crossbar.

51' Vanc Amber Allen (Katie Thorlakson) Thorlakson fed it ahead to Allen breaking on the left, and she outpaced US National Team defender Amy LePeilbet before firing it home.

54' Vanc Amber Allen

A long throw-in from Thorlakson on the right bounced over a couple of players in the box, went off an Arizona defender, and fell to Allen six yards out, who blasted it in on the turn.

74' Vanc Amber Allen

Katie Thorlakson broke in on goal on the right, but hit the left post with her shot. The rebound went to Allen whose 15-yard effort was only partially stopped by the keeper, with the ball spinning through and bouncing across the line, despite the efforts of the goalkeeper and a defender to stop it. The hat trick takes Allen's team-leading season tally to 14.

Game Notes

It was all Vancouver in the first quarter-hour, as the Caps looked to add to the early goal. Highlights included: a header from Sasha Andrews was cleared off the line at 4'; a breakaway by Allen at 6' that was broken up by Amy LePeilbet who recovered well; and a shot by Allen at 11' from good position that hit the side netting.

Arizona came close at 21' when leading scorer Julie Williford broke in on the left and got around goalkeeper Sian Bagshawe, but her centering pass only found Whitecaps defender Martina Franko.

Katie Thorlakson was all over the field, and had numerous chances to add to the lead, but had trouble getting the ball on target. She fired over the bar at 36' and again at 37', had a shot blocked at the near post at 75', and the fired another shot just wide at 76'.

Sasha Andrews had a shot cleared off the line at 47', for the second time in the game.

The only two times Arizona has been shut out all season is at Swangard.

The Whitecaps have not conceded a league goal at home all season.

Tonight’s 4-0 post-season win was the Whitecaps biggest margin of victory in franchise history.

Vancouver's all-time playoff record is now 6-1-2.

Amber Allen is now the team's all-time playoff scoring leader with four goals.

The Canadian anthem was sung by Whitecaps goalkeeper Erin McLeod.

Whitecaps: 1.Sian Bagshawe - 18.Clare Rustad, 6.Sasha Andrews, 11.Randee Hermus, 13.Martina Franko - 15.Kara Lang, 5.Andrea Neil, 17.Brittany Timko, 16.Sophie Schmidt - 20.Katie Thorlakson, 14.Amber Allen

Arizona: 1.Jennifer Branam - 3.Amy LePeilbet, 8.Stephanie Peel, 21.Michelle Deatherage, 24.Luz Saucedo - 23.Jennifer Klein, 15.Mallory Miller, 9.Brittany Cooper, 16.Monica Vergara - 11.Liz Bogus, 6.Julie Wilford

Shots: Vancouver 22 Arizona 11

(20 shots on Branam, 2 on Tajonar)

Saves: Vancouver 5 Arizona 0

Fouls: Vancouver 9 Arizona 5

Offside: Vancouver 8 Arizona 5

Corner Kicks: Vancouver 6 Arizona 2

Referee: Kevin Duliba


Vancouver: Thorlakson 26'

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