With a bit of parity in the Atlantic Division, Atlanta and Charlotte usually found themselves rounding out the SNA W-League Power Rankings, but the results of the first weekend of the W-League playoffs showed that, perhaps, the division was underrated.
While Buffalo remained at the top of the rankings courtesy of a pair shutout wins over Canadian foes Toronto and Ottawa, the big movers of the week were Charlotte and Atlanta.
In the Conference Semifinals the Lady Eagles stunned the Washington Freedom Futures, coming from behind twice for a 2-2 draw (regardless of what the USL site says) before advancing in penalties. They proved their defense was no fluke as Washington had the third best offense in the league with 29 goals in 12 games. Charlotte had allowed only four goals coming into the contest. The more surprising part of the result was the newly-found offense from Charlotte, which had only 15 goals in 10 games, scoring two equalizers, including one in overtime, against a Washington defense that had given up just seven goals on the year and had only two games with two or more allowed.
Atlanta, meanwhile, faced the Northeast’s third-seeded Wildcats, but still managed to put up a result that opened eyes, 5-1. New Jersey had allowed just 16 goals for the season and three of the Wildcat losses were to division leaders Hudson Valley and Washington. The Silverbacks handed New Jersey its biggest loss of the season, posting the largest margin of victory and most goals against for the Wildcats season. They capped the conference playoffs with a 1-0 win over rival Charlotte.
SNA W-League Power Rankings
1 – Buffalo Flash (10-0-2): 3-0 win over Toronto followed by 1-0 win against Ottawa.
2 – Hudson Valley QLB (11-1-0): Idle – automatic berth to semis as regular season champ.
3 – Vancouver Whitecaps (6-0-4): Defeated Pali 2-1.
4 – Atlanta Silverbacks (7-2-1): Beat New Jersey 5-1 followed by win over Charlotte, 1-0.
5 – Ottawa Fury (8-1-3): Topped Chicago 2-0 before falling 1-0 to Buffalo.
6 – Charlotte Lady Eagles (5-3-2): 2-2 draw against Washington, 1-0 loss to Atlanta.
7 – Washington Freedom Futures (10-1-1): Eliminated by PKs after 2-2 draw against Charlotte.
8 – Chicago Red Eleven (8-2-2): Defeated by Ottawa 2-0.
9 – Toronto Lady Lynx (7-2-3): Fell 3-0 to Buffalo.
10 – Pali Blues (3-4-3): Eliminated from three-peat contention, 2-1 by Vancouver.
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