WOMEN'S PROFESSIONAL SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP

Independence (12-4-3) at Western New York Flash (13-2-3)

Saturday, 4 p.m. at Sahlen Stadium, Rochester, N.Y. TV: Comcast SportsNet.

 Last game: The Flash defeated the Atlanta Beat, 2-0, on Aug. 15 at Sahlen Stadium to capture the WPS regular-season title and a semifinal bye. . . . The Independence's 10-goal scorer, forward Tasha Kai, tallied the winning goal in a 2-0 victory over magicJack on Aug. 20 in a playoff semifinal at PPL Park in Chester.

Outlook: The Independence are no strangers to title-game pressure. They made the final last year and lost to FC Gold Pride, 4-0, following a grueling playoff travel schedule. This year, they are fresh and feisty and have a three-pronged attack in forwards Kai and Amy Rodriguez and midfielder Veronica "Vero" Boquete. . . . Attacking for Western New York are Brazilian star Marta and Canada's Christine Sinclair, who have 20 goals and 13 assists between them. Alex Morgan (4 goals, 3 assists) is likely to be the third forward.

Goalkeepers: Ashlyn Harris has played in all 18 games for the Flash, allowing an average of one goal per outing. She has five shutouts. . . . The Independence keepers are Nicole Barnhart and Val Henderson, who filled in when Barnhart was with the national team. They have given up 18 goals between them. Barnhart has played in 10 games with four shutouts. Henderson has a 7-1-1 record and four shutouts. Look for Barnhart between the pipes.    - Bill Iezzi

EndText