Goal.com WPS Player Of The Week: Tina DiMartino, Philadelphia Independence

In a week that saw plenty of shutdown defense, Tina DiMartino exploded for two goals on Sunday to propel her Independence back from a 2-0 deficit to a 3-2 win over Atlanta. For that, she is this week's top WPS player.
It wasn’t much of “news” when the Philadelphia Independence picked up Tina DiMartino off the free agent list in June in the wake of St. Louis Athletica folding.

But since the pickup, DiMartino – who joined her sister Gina on the expansion club – has done nothing but good things. In her first game with Philly, she scored the team’s lone goal in a 3-1 home loss to FC Gold Pride on June 13. She has now logged minutes in each of her 12 matches, starting nine times for Paul Riley’s club.

Since her first goal in her first game, Tina brought intensity and tenacity to the pitch that fits right in the build of the veteran-laden club. She hadn’t translated that to goals of late. That is, until Sunday night when they needed goals in a hurry.

In almost the blink of an eye, Philadelphia found itself down 2-nil to the Atlanta Beat on its home turf at John A. Farrell Stadium in West Chester, Penn. Goals by Johanna Rasmussen and Lori Chalupny in the fourth and 18th minutes put the Independence in a hole. But as the half was winding down, DiMartino pulled her side within one with an unassisted-tally in the 42nd minute.

After a breather, DiMartino knotted the game up at 2-apiece with her second of the match, off an Amy Rodriguez setup, giving her a brace, and four goals on the season.

Joanna Lohman capped the come-from-behind win off when she beat Hope Solo in the 81st minute to gain some more ground on the first-place Gold Pride.

DiMartino marks the fifth time an Independence player has taken Goal.com’s weekly honor. Tina joins Caroline Seger (Week 15), Danesha Adams (Week 10), Amy Rodriguez (Week 8) and Lori Lindsey (Week 3) from Philadelphia who have won in 2010.

Other players receiving consideration for the Week 18 POW were Candace Chapman of FC Gold Pride for locking down the Freedom in a scoreless draw and a divvied up vote to the Boston Breakers unit that was lock-down on defense (Alex Scott, Amy LePeilbet, et al) and virtually unstoppable on offense (Kelly Smith, Jordan Angeli, Lauren Cheney, etc.) in a 4-0 romp over Atlanta.

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