Two goals on the night by Boston University star Tiya Gallegos were not enough for New England Mutiny to win back-to-back Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) Elite League matches over the weekend. After defeating ASA Chesapeake Charge 4-2 at home on Saturday, Mutiny gave up a late goal to host Philadelphia Fever to end with a 2-2 draw, the first in league play.
While New England’s offense has been connecting, with six goals in two matches, the defense continues to show early-season jitters, giving up four on the weekend and nine overall in WPSL Elite League play. With several members of the team still out on U.S. National Teams commitments, Mutiny head coach Tony Horta has had to make adjustments in the first three games.
Mutiny’s Kate Howarth made the first solid test of the night against Fever’s Michelle Dalton in the 17th minute, but the Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year was on the spot with the save. A minute later Philadelphia’s Dylan Jordan broke in off the right flank and put a shot in past Mutiny keeper Vikki Alonzo for an early 1-0 lead.
Taking confidence from the goal, the Fever carried the run of play for the next twenty minutes until New England once again found their offensive wheels. Dalton was forced to make difficult saves against Riley Houle and Vicki DiMartino in a span of two minutes, before Gallegos finally found the back of the net off a feed from Houle at the 42-minute mark.
Philadelphia challenged the Mutiny defense once more before the end of the half, but Emily Grant’s shot was unsuccessful, sending the two teams into halftime with the score knotted 1-1.
New England came out gunning for the lead, and in the 65th minute Gallegos put her team up 2-1 after collecting a deflection from a wicked DiMartino shot and firing past Dalton. The goal was her fourth in three games to lead Mutiny. However Philadelphia refused to give in on their home turf, and in the 81st minute Myriam Bouchard headed in the tying goal after a Fever corner kick for the final 2-2 score.
The same two teams will face off again on Saturday, June 2, this time at New England’s East Longmeadow High School home field. Game time is 7:00 p.m.
STARTERS (NEM): Alonzo; Lombard, Morrison, Pressley, Richards; Hood, McCarthy, Houle, Gallegos; Howarth, DiMartino.
SUBS - Reilly, Mays.
STARTERS (PF): Dalton; Allen, Grant, Devarics, Jordan; Haycook, Baldwin, Lynch, Stockton; Bouchard, Minnix.
SUBS - Sayon, Clemens.
SCORING: PF - 18' Jordan (unassisted); NEM - 42' Gallegos (Houle); NEM - 65' Gallegos (DiMartino); PF - 81' Bouchard (unassisted).
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