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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Silverbacks Women are Going to Columbus! - By Taylor Peyton

The Silverbacks Women made the most of their second chance on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Lake Norman in the South Region Final, giving them a spot in the WPSL Final 4 in Columbus, Ohio. The Silverbacks will be joined by Boston Breakers Reserves, defending WPSL Champions Chicago Red Stars Reserves, and their semifinal opponent San Diego SeaLions.

The Silverbacks opened the scoring early in the match. It was a mystery as to who scored it, though. Atlanta was given a free kick that was put into the box and it’s unclear as to whether a Lake Norman player put it in her net, or it just went straight in without touching any other player. Regardless, the Silverbacks were up 1-0 and shortly after they doubled their lead to 2-0 on a goal scored by Katya Gohkman. Unfortunately just seconds after Atlanta’s second goal Lake Norman’s Victoria Bruce made it 2-1.

There were plenty of chances at both ends, but the game ended 2-1 in favor of the Silverbacks. Their road to Columbus had been completed. No one could have predicted that it could have happened the way it did, but anyone who watched the Women’s team over this season knew that they were good and had a chance of challenging for the National Championship. It’s an interesting Final Four with two independent teams pitted against each other in one semifinal match, and two NWSL Reserve teams pitted against each other in the other.

San Diego SeaLions finished the regular season with 28 points and a 9-0-1 record, with their one draw coming on the road against FC Tucson Women. Their road to Columbus was completed when they came down from 2-1 to beat Seattle Sounders Women 3-2 in the Western Championship. The 2013 WPSL Champions now face the Silverbacks in the Semifinals.

Between their undefeated records, the score lines of their games, and the fact that both of them only allowed six goals in the regular season, there are a few similarities between the Silverbacks and the SeaLions. As of right now there will not be a stream of the semifinal game, but keep an eye out Twitter to see if a Periscope stream or something similar can be found. Along with the players that will be heading to Columbus, a good luck wish is in order for Brooke Hendrix, who will not be in Columbus because she will be on trial for AFC Ajax Women. Ajax Women started play in 2012 and won KNVB Women’s Cup in 2014. Obviously, Brooke will be missed this weekend but she has been a fantastic player for the Silverbacks, and it would be cool if she impressed Ajax enough to be signed by them. Kickoff for Atlanta’ semifinal match is 4:30 PM on Saturday. If they win, they will be in the final which will kickoff at 2 PM on Sunday.

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