July 7, 2003

Attention: Sports Editors/Assignment Editors/General Sportswriters/ Soccer Journalists/Other Parties


(TORONTO, ONTARIO) - Melissa Shulman scored three times as the Long Island Lady Riders edged the Toronto Inferno 4-3 in W-League soccer action Sunday afternoon at Birchmount Stadium.

Long Island found themselves down 3-1 with only twenty minutes to go but the Inferno defence made some crucial mistakes and the Lady Riders capitalized for their sixth win against four losses. It looked like the Lady Riders were going to lose their second game in as many days but the New Yorkers had other plans. Long Island was coming off a 5-1 drubbing at Ottawa Saturday night.

After Candace Chapman scored twice to give the Inferno a 3-1 lead, the Lady Riders got on their horses and took advantage of some Inferno defensive miscues.

Less than a minute after Chapman's second goal, Shulman tied the Toronto midfielder in the day's scoring derby, with a header past Inferno goalkeeper Annie Witko.

About nine minutes later, Inferno midfielder Robyn Brady was called for a hand ball inside Toronto's six-yard box. Franny DeCristoforo made good on her penalty kick attempt to tie the match at 3-3. Adding insult to injury, Brady was given a red card for touching the ball with her hands while being the last defender.

Three minutes later, in the 83rd minute, Shulman scored what proved to be the winner on a blast from just inside the 18-yard box.

"Obviously, it was disappointing that we suffered a defensive meltdown that cost us the game," said Inferno head coach Tony Marmo.

"After we went up 3-1 we lost our focus and composure."

With the loss, the Toronto Inferno drop its record to five wins versus four losses. The Inferno remain in third place of the Northern Division, nine points or the equivalent of three wins behind the Ottawa Fury for the second and final playoff spot. One advantage the Inferno has going for themselves is that they have one game in hand as Ottawa has four games remaining while Toronto counts five more dates on its 2003 schedule.

Asked what he expects to instruct his players about defence during the home stretch, Marmo plans to tell them to just "keep it simple."


Following three road matches, the Inferno return home to finish off their 2003 regular season campaign.

On Saturday, July 26, Toronto hosts their arch rival and defending W-League champion Boston Renegades at Birchmount Stadium. Kick off time is 7 p.m. Boston knocked Toronto out of the 2002 playoffs in the first round and the teams meet for the first time, in Boston on July 19, since that post-season match. The Renegades currently sit atop the Northern Division with a record of 10 wins against no losses.

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