Tag Archives: ASA Chesapeake Charge

WPSL: ACF Torino goes toe-to-toe and 2-to-2 with ASA Charge

Coming into this Tuesday evening match (July 7) I didn’t hold out much hope for ACF Torino. So far in the season they were 0-2-3 against the 3 new teams of the South Atlantic Division. Meanwhile, the Charge were an undefeated 6-0-0 against those same teams, with most wins by 3 goals or more.
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WPSL: DC-area team preview 2015

Cheyenne Skidmore scored the game-winning goal in the Charge's home opener (photo courtesy of Ken L. Harriford)

Cheyenne Skidmore scores the game-winning goal in the Charge’s home opener (photo courtesy of Ken L. Harriford).

In addition to our two local W-League teams, one in northern Virginia, the other northwest of DC, there are two local WPSL teams, both based east of DC, the Anne Arundel County based Chesapeake Charge, and the Prince George’s County based ACF Torino.


In contrast with the W-League, the WPSL is exploding. It’s expanded to 82 teams this year from 72 last year and includes at least 4 teams affiliated with professional NWSL teams. (The Spirit Reserves are the only W-League team associated with an NWSL team.) It’s reportedly the largest women’s league in the world.

The downside from a journalistic perspective is that the WPSL is comparatively lackadaisical about providing information. I know all about the W-League playoffs. All I know about the WPSL playoffs is that just one team from the South Atlantic Division will qualify, the conference finals will take place in New England the weekend of July 18, and the league finals will take place in Houston the weekend of July 25. But just try to find any of that information on the WPSL website.

South Atlantic Division

The South Atlantic Division is living more up to its name than in previous years, when it included teams from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This year it has five teams from Maryland and Virginia. The Maryland teams are familiar, ACF Torino and the ASA Chesapeake Charge, while the Virginia teams are all new: Chesterfield United (south of Richmond), Fredericksburg FC, and Virginia Beach City FC. Torino assistant coach and midfielder Elise Bender is happy with the smaller geographic footprint. “Thank goodness, we’re just Virginia and Maryland. The farthest game for us is Virginia Beach, so that’s not so bad.”
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A Match Made in Heaven: “A Celebration of Women’s Soccer”

Laura Kane and Jess Hnatiuk of the Chesapeake Charge/Maryland Capitols defend against Lianne Sanderson of the DC United Women/All-Stars, who would score twice on the evening. (Ken Harriford)

Somewhere in Heaven in the distant future, the all-time, all-Freedom team is taking the field. Co-captains Jen Grubb and Cat Whitehill check their starting lineup one last time. Beside them on the back line are Carrie Moore and Becky Sauerbrunn; Siri Mullinix is between the pipes. Up top are Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach; while Sonia Bompastor, Steffi Jones, Lori Lindsey, and Bai Jie line up across the midfield.

The other team consists of the best their opposition has offered over the years. So many to choose from, but you have to figure the lineup includes forwards Marta and Birgit Prinz; midfielders Lori Chalupny, Kristine Lilly, and Kelly Smith; defenders Joy Fawcett, Christie Rampone, and perhaps a Danielle Slaton finally without knee problems; and of course Hope Solo in goal.

All right, the lineup for Saturday’s “Celebration of Women’s Soccer”, with the “Maryland Capitols” taking on the “All-Stars”, wasn’t anywhere near that awesome, but given that it was limited to active players who could make the match on fairly short notice, it was plenty awesome enough. Three of the players I named above were there – Sauerbrunn, Lindsey, and Whitehill – though due to US Soccer’s concerns over possible injuries, only Cat was allowed to play. Becky and Lori served as part-time coaches and also participated in a penalty kick face-off at halftime. (Lori won, 4-3, after Becky’s first attempt went off the bottom of the crossbar but out rather than in.)
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MWSJA Players of the Week – Week 10

It’s hard to believe that the season is drawing to a close – in fact, due to the Capitols’ loss on Sunday, this will be the last POTW that all three teams participate in.

Let’s not dwell on Maryland’s loss too much, though – in their inaugural season they finished the regular season in first place in their division and third in the entire conference. And of course they gave numerous players a chance to show their stuff, several of whom have earned well-deserved POTW mentions during the course of the season. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they do next year with a year’s experience under their belts both on the field and off it.

But onto the players themselves.
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Charge Play to 3-3 Draw with Rival Mutiny

Kate Howarth (with the ball) would score twice for the Mutiny

The Chesapeake Charge had the advantage in the run of play but couldn’t match the New England Mutiny’s polished finishing. The result was a 3-3 draw, with two goals from Kate Howarth and one from Tiffany Weimer on the New England side, and scores from Cheyenne Skidmore, Nicole Clark, and Ashley Spivey – the last in second-half stoppage time – for Chesapeake. The result bolsters the Mutiny’s claim to being the best non-WPS-heritage team in the WPSL Elite since the Charge lost the other half of the home-and-home series.
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MWSJA Players of the Week – Week 9

First off, congratulations to the Maryland Capitols for earning a home playoff game as the #3 seed in the Northeast Atlantic Conference of the WPSL. That will take place this Sunday at 3 pm at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Center as they take on the #6 seed Syracuse Lady Knights.

Also kudos to the DC United Women, who earned the #1 seed in the W-League’s Eastern Conference and the right to host the conference playoffs. Those will take place on Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22, with the #2 team playing #3 Saturday at 3:30, and DC playing the #4 seed – which will be either the Fredericksburg Impact or the Virginia Beach Piranhas – at 6. Then the final is Sunday at 4 pm. All games will take place at the Maryland Soccerplex Stadium.

But on to the Players of the Week.
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MWSJA Players of the Week – Week 8

First off, the Maryland Women’s Soccer Journalists Association would like to extend their congratulations to the Maryland Capitols and the DC United Women, each of whom clinched a division title and a spot in the playoffs this past weekend.

We’d also like to extend our admiration to the Chesapeake Charge, who against vastly tougher competition than either of those teams face were eliminated from the playoffs this past week. However, they’ve continued to play classy, competitive soccer, and their games have been a joy to watch. As Ray Curren puts it, “[Head coach] Oni and the Charge have drawn my admiration both times I’ve seen them this season in the way they’ve approached the game. There were no ‘bunkers’, no ‘hitting and hoping’, no wasting time from the opening kickoff against semi-professional opposition last Thursday. I looked up on a couple of occasions to see the ball in the Charge end and three forwards still sitting toward midfield as Chesapeake stuck to their gameplan.” (See http://www.allwhitekit.com/?p=9653 for Ray’s complete writeup.)

But on to the Players of the Week:
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MWSJA Maryland Club Players of the Week

Maryland Club Player of the Week Didi Haracic takes a goal kick during Saturday's warmup

The Maryland Women’s Soccer Journalists Association* is pleased to announce its first-ever selections for Maryland Club Players of the Week.** We considered selecting an entire starting lineup, but that seemed a bit overdone. On the other hand, selecting just one player seemed inadequate, not to mention that it doesn’t give us much to write about. So we split the difference and picked one player in each category of position from the three top-level club teams based in Maryland. (If you haven’t been paying attention, that’s the ASA Chesapeake Charge, the DC United Women, and the Maryland Capitols.) And here they are:

Goalkeeper of the Week: Didi Haracic, DC United Women. A sophomore at Loyola, Haracic in her coach’s word had a “phenomenal” performance against the Boston Breakers Saturday night, stopping numerous shots and keeping the game within reach for her team throughout.

Defender of the Week: Remi Kriz, Maryland Capitols. Kriz, a Maryland senior, was the core of a defense that turned away numerous Chesapeake Charge chances and was the most active player on a strong back line.

Midfielder of the Week: Christine Nairn, ASA Chesapeake Charge. Despite having joined the team only a few days earlier, the Penn State junior was consistently the most dangerous attacking player for the Charge in their match against Boston. Meanwhile, a special honorable mention goes to Joanna Lohman of the DC United Women, who was a major force for her team despite having been on a different continent 48 hours prior to the match and having no opportunity to practice with her teammates before the game.

Forward of the Week: Alexis Prior-Brown, ASA Chesapeake Charge. Prior-Brown, a Mercy High School senior (!), gets the nod this week as the only player on any of the three teams who managed to score a goal during one of these early-season games.

Player of the Week: Didi Haracic. Not just the “best player on the field” Saturday night, as Joanna Lohman described her, but the best Maryland player in all three matches.

*Currently Jennifer Gordon of The Equalizer and me, but we’re still recruiting.
**Actually slightly more than a week. So sue us.