In a hard-fought, physical Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) Elite League match the New England Mutiny edged out FC Indiana at the Invaders Soccer Complex in South Bend, Ind., on Thursday night. Forward Kate Howarth picked up her fourth goal of the season in stoppage time to pull out the 3-2 victory for the visiting Mutiny.
The match marked the first meeting of the season between the two teams and their first face off since the 2007 WPSL season, when head coach Shek Borkowski led FC Indiana to the team’s second league championship. That year Indiana defeated New England 3-0 in the title match, so there was a measure of pride and redemption on the line for Mutiny.
The match opened on a physical note, with an early yellow card on FC Indiana forward Yolande Merone. When it was over, Indiana had earned two more and New England had five for a total of eight cards on the night, most of them coming as the game wound down to its close.
Mutiny opened the scoring at the 32-minute mark when Sarah Brochu made a run up the field and served the ball in to Howarth, who headed it in for the 1-0 score. It was New England’s first lead in a match since beating ASA Chesapeake Charge 4-2 in the second week of the season. The assist was Brochu’s first of the season, coming in her third consecutive start.
The game remained a one-point contest until the 51st minute, when midfielder Kelsey Hood chipped the ball over the Indiana defense to Becca Mays. The Mutiny forward converted the service for a 2-0 lead and her third goal of the season, third best on the team.
FC Indiana responded immediately, mounting an attack that ended in a shot banging off the crossbar above Mutiny goalkeeper Vikki Alonzo. Four minutes later forward Manoucheka Pierre-Louis collected a pass from midfielder Lovely Placid and blasted a shot past Alonzo to make the score 2-1, New England.
As time ran down the intensity continued to pick up. Lauren Reilly would earn the first of Mutiny’s five yellow cards in the 62nd minute. Then in the 83rd minute FC Indiana was awarded a penalty kick for a New England infraction in the box. Jordan Clark lined up and sank the shot to knot the score at 2-2 with only minutes to go.
In the 89th minute Howarth and teammate Taleen Dimirdjian were both shown yellow cards, but a minute later the Mutiny forward would respond where it counted. Running onto a through ball from Mays, Howarth fired a shot past FC Indiana goalkeeper Geralda Santilus for the game-winning goal. The score gave Howarth the team lead on points (11) with four goals and three assists.
New England (3-2-1, 10 points) will play their third road match out of four straight on Saturday, June 16, when they visit the second-place Chicago Red Stars (5-1-0, 15 points). They will finish out this road run on Wednesday, June 20, when they meet the league-leading Boston Breakers (6-1-0, 18 points) at Dilboy Stadium. Mutiny will return home on Sunday, June 24, when they host Western New York Flash (3-2-1, 10 points). FC Indiana (0-7-1, 1 point) will have two weeks off before taking to the road against Philadelphia Fever (0-4-1, 1 point) on Friday, June 29, and ASA Chesapeake Charge (1-3-1, 4 points) on Sunday, July 1.
STARTERS (NEM): Alonzo; Dimirdjian, Brochu, Riviere, Cunningham; Reilly, Hood, Houle, Mays; Howarth, Gallegos. SUBS - Smith, Parker.
STARTERS (FCI): Santilus; Aristilde, Marseille, Cajuste; Placid, Beauciquot, Moore, Dolce; Rattray, Pierre Louis, Clark. SUBS - Merone.
NEM – Howarth (Brochu) 32'
NEM – Mays (Hood) 51'
FCI – Pierre-Louis (Placid) 56'
FCI – Clark (penalty kick) 83'
NEM – Howarth (Mays) 90'
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