CyberRays 3, Charge 2
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Julie Murray scored two goals and Tisha Venturini had two assists as the Bay Area CyberRays clinched a playoff berth with a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Charge in the WUSA on Thursday night.
The teams combined to score four goals in an 11-minute span early in the second half.
The CyberRays (10-5-4, 34 points) moved past Atlanta into first place in the WUSA. Katia also scored for Bay Area, which improved to 9-1-3 in its last 13 matches.
Philadelphia’s loss, combined with New York’s 1-0 win over Carolina earlier Thursday, dropped the Charge (8-7-3, 27 points) into fourth place.
Margret Olafsdottir scored in the 52nd minute, and Lorrie Fair scored two minutes into stoppage time for the Charge.
San Jose took a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute when Murray beat Charge goalkeeper Saskia Webber and defender Heather Mitts to a long ball from Venturini. Murray slipped the ball under Webber.
On Philadelphia’s next possession, Olafsdottir took a feed from Laurie Schwoy and chipped the ball over the head of Bay Area goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene. The ball glanced off Beene’s right arm and into the net, tying the match at 1.
Murray scored the go-ahead goal three minutes later, fighting off Mitts again. Venturini headed the ball down the left side to Murray, who scored her team-high ninth goal.
In the 62nd minute, Katia added insurance with a left-footed shot into the upper left corner, off a feed from Sissi. It was Katia’s sixth goal of the season.
Fair scored on a corner kick just before the final whistle as Philadelphia closed within a goal.
The teams split two previous meetings. The Charge won 3-2 on May 6, and the CyberRays won 3-0 at home on June 20.