Independence midfielder Caroline Seger has great field vision and the accuracy to hit teammates from long range.
While she has shown a diversified game this season, it hadn't been backed up on the stat sheet. That all changed when Seger recorded three assists during Saturday's 4-1 victory over New Jersey's Sky Blue FC in a Women's Professional Soccer match at West Chester University.
The win, which snapped a two-game losing streak, enabled the Independence (7-5-3) to remain in second place in the seven-team WPS.
Defending WPS champion Sky Blue (5-7-3) concluded a rough week in which Paulina Miettinen was fired Monday as coach and replaced by assistant Rick Stainton.
Seger entered the game with no goals and one assist. She was still named to the WPS midseason all-star team but didn't participate because of an ankle injury.
"We challenged Seger this week and felt it was time she started carrying her weight, and I thought tonight she was the best player on the field," Independence coach Paul Riley said.
The Independence opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Joanna Lohman converted a cross from Seger.
Before public address announcer Phil Andrews could announce the scorer, the Independence struck again. Seger sent a well-placed pass to Amy Rodriguez, who drilled a 15-yarder into the upper left corner of the net in the eighth minute.
"I hope this is a game that can get things going," Seger said. "This was a game where everything seemed to be working right."
Defender Holmfridur Magnusdottir made it 3-0 in the 21st minute. She broke down multiple defenders before converting from eight yards.
In the 52d minute, Seger earned her third assist, sending Rodriguez on goal with a long pass. Rodriguez scored on the breakaway, giving her nine goals overall and seven in the last five games.
Sky Blue, still playing without injured Carli Lloyd of Delran (broken ankle), averted a shutout when Brittany Taylor scored in the 80th minute.
This wasn't the type of farewell that Sky Blue goalie Kristin Luckenbill had envisioned. A Conestoga alum, Luckenbill was playing her final game before beginning work on her master's degree at the University of Virginia.
"It's sad to have this end," said Luckenbill, who made a great save on a Lianne Sanderson breakaway in the 62d minute. "Overall, it's been a fantastic journey."