by Olaf Goldbecker
After the conclusion of the national team spring competitions, the Bundesliga resumed and saw the three top teams face seemingly easy tasks.
In an 11 a.m. game, Potsdam easily fulfilled their task against last place Sindelfingen. In particular Genoveva Añonma used this match to polish her scoring stats – six goals in Potsdam’s 12-0 win made her jump to second place in the top striker list. This score put pressure on Frankfurt as they needed a win to defend the top spot. In Essen, they had problems to fulfill this task. Charline Hartmann scored for the hosts right before the half time whistle and forced Frankfurt to come out stronger after the break. Kerstin Garefrekes tied the match relatively early in the second period but still the top seed had to battle hard to avoid losing points. Kozue Ando was the hero of the day when she scored the 2-1 game winner in the second minute of stoppage time and kept her team on top.
The third top team VfL Wolfsburg made an easy task difficult against FF USV Jena. Martina Müller and Alexandra Popp scored in the first half, Lena Goessling made it 3-0 with ten minutes left on the clock. Apparently this made Wolfsburg take their foot off the petal while Jena played till the final whistle. Julia Arnold got the visitors on the scoreboard with six minutes left, before Caroline Schiewe closed the gap to 3-2 with three minutes left to go. The Wolves trembled but did not fall as they carried home the 3-2 win.
Fourth place team Bayern Munich had a more difficult task at SC Freiburg. Munich is injury plagued team as it is but they suffered more injuries at the Algarve Cup when they lost Leonie Maier (ACL) and Laura Feiersinger (calf and shinbone fracture) for a lengthy period of time. New USWNT player Sarah Hagen got her team on track before halftime and Katharina Baunach marked the safety goal short before the end in a 2-0 win.
The most relegation endangered clubs (next to nearly safely relegated Sindelfingen), Hoffenheim and Cloppenburg, both had solvable tasks. Hoffenheim hosted MSV Duisburg, while Cloppenburg traveled to Leverkusen. Hoffenheim at least fulfilled this task partially. After being down right after halftime on a goal by Vanessa Wahlen, they tied by Leonie Keilbach and collected one point in a 1-1 draw. Cloppenburg missed another good opportunity to collect points and remained stuck on the relegation spot. Leverkusen rallied away in the first half with two goals before Bayer goalkeeper Anna Klink was sent off and Cloppenburg scored on the resulting penalty kick. The player advantage did not help Cloppenburg in the second half though. With ten minutes left to play, defender Imke Wübbenhorst saw her second yellow card and made it an even strength game again. Bayer 04 used this and scored two more goals for a 4-1 win.
Frankfurt and Potsdam sit on top with 33 and 32 points. Wolfsburg has to hope that one of those teams slip as they follow with 28 points, ahead of Munich at 24. The mid-table positions are led by Leverkusen at 18 points, followed by Jena and Duisburg with 17 and Essen with 15. Freiburg is on 9th position with 13 points. Hoffenheim stays in direct relegation danger with 12 points, just being three points ahead of the first relegation spot, which is occupied by Cloppenburg.