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 Saturday, August 17, 2002 20:00 EST

Freedom to face Courage for title

[Associated Press]

VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Monica Gerardo scored in the 80th minute to send the Washington Freedom to the WUSA title game with a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Charge on Saturday.

The Freedom will play the Carolina Courage in the Founders Cup game next week. The Courage defeated the Atlanta Beat 2-1 in overtime in the other semifinal.

Gerardo, a second-half substitute, was unmarked in the penalty area when she took a pass from Jacqui Little and sent a left-footed shot into the net for her first goal of the playoffs.

Gerardo scored three goals in 19 regular season games this season.

Siri Mullinix made five saves for Washington (12-5-5). Melissa Moore made three saves for Philadelphia (11-5-6).

Neither team generated much offense in the second half although Mia Hamm, who entered the game at the start of the second half for the Freedom, forced Moore to make a diving save in the 48th minute.

After Philadelphia controlled possession in the opening 10 minutes of the game, Washington had two opportunities to score. Steffi Jones shot just over the crossbar in the 12th minute and Bai Jie saw her shot from the right side stopped by Moore in the 14th minute.

The Charge is now 0-2 in playoff games, having lost 3-2 in overtime at Atlanta last year.

Two late goals send Courage into WUSA Founders Cup

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