Independence coach Paul Riley made no excuses Saturday night after his team's 2-1 loss to the Athletica in a Women's Professional Soccer game in St. Louis.

"We simply didn't play well," Riley said. "We especially didn't have any rhythm in the midfield."

It was the first of three straight road games for the Independence (2-1-2). The only other road game the team has played was a 1-1 draw at Boston on April 18.

St. Louis (2-1-2) took a 2-0 lead before the Independence cut the margin in half on a goal by Lyndsey Patterson in the 75th minute.

One reason the team's midfield play was not up to par was the absence of Caroline Seger, the Swedish international star. Seger missed the game with a calf injury she suffered last week in practice.

"You don't want to make excuses, but we really missed her," Riley said.

He said that U.S. national team midfielder Shannon Boxx was a dominant performer in the midfield for St. Louis.

St. Louis scored on an own goal in the 42d minute and then took a 2-0 lead on Lindsay Tarpley's goal in the 60th minute.

"We got a little down on ourselves but then showed some fight in getting that goal," Independence midfielder Jen Buczkowski said. "Now we need a good week of training to get ready for Chicago.

Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or mnarducci@phillynews.com.