Elite Women’s Soccer League
The Mutiny get their first win in WPSL Elite with thanks to two returning players - Jenny Maurer & Riley Houle
After a less than stellar home opener loss to the New York Fury last week, the New England Mutiny (1-1-0 WPSL Elite) wanted to get a early lead vs. the Chesapeake Charge (0-2-0 WPSL Elite) and see if they could sail it home for victory. They did just that, but the visitors had a different idea on what kind trip back to the shore the hosts would have on this night.
New England would emerge with a 4-2 win over Chesapeake, thanks to the tireless efforts of Mutiny charter member Jenny Maurer (goal) and University of Connecticut midfielder Riley Houle (goal, assist). But the Charge would make it difficult, responding twice from two-goal deficits to scuttle any plans that New England Head Coach Tony Horta had to rest his players for their road trip to the Philadelphia Fever (7:30 PM kick-off) on Sunday.
"Our plan was to high pressure and try & get an early lead, and we did," said Horta. "Unfortunately, they got one back which changed the complexion of the game. I think we went into halftime on a positive note but we came out in the second half and we were flat. We would've loved to have rested some people but their second goal took us out of our plan.
"They did a great job of trying to stay in the game and we didn't do a good job offensively."
The Mutiny came out strong to begin the game, with defender Ciara McCormack just missing a back-post header over the cross bar in the 7th minute. Maurer would strike a little over ten minutes later, as she took a throw-in from forward Kate Howarth off the left sideline and headed to goal.
The East Longmeadow, native and head coach of the high school's girls soccer team would fire a shot from 30 yards out that bent inside the near-side upper 90 past Chesapeake goalkeeper Lyndse Hokanson for the 1-0 lead. That magnanimous goal would spur on the New England attack, and seven minutes later, Houle would whip in a corner kick from the left flag and Tiya Gallegos would net her second goal of the season after a goal-mouth scramble for the 2-0 score.
"I think we realized we needed to shot the ball a little more," said Maurer. "We had control of the play and we needed to take advantage of our opportunities. We just needed to keep attacking."
The game appeared to be going the same way for the Charge as their season-opening 3-0 loss to the Boston Breakers, when they surrendered three early goals and weren't able to get back into the game. Shannon Collins would remedy that in the 27th minute, as she collected a failed clearance from a corner kick on the right flank and bent in a shot past Mutiny goalkeeper Alexa Gaul, inside the far post for the 2-1 score.
Houle would respond for the home side five minutes later, drawing a foul just inside the penalty area. The All-BIG EAST selection for UConn stepped up to the penalty kick and buried it past Chesapeake substitute keeper Erin Quinn for the eventual game-winning goal, who was subbed into the match only a minute before the referee's call.
New England would go into halftime with the 3-1 lead but as the second half ensued, the Mutiny let the Charge run at them in their effort to get back into the match. In the 49th minute, Chesapeake's Sophia Reid would get the ball on the left flank, and chip Gaul from the top of the penalty area to cut New England's lead to 3-2.
The Mutiny would settle down and re-capture the run of play they held for the majority of the match. But the offense couldn't find the final ball to crack the Charge goal and get the insurance goal. In the 80th minute, Gaul would live to her billing as one of the top young keepers in U.S. Soccer, saving the win for New England.
Gaul & her compatriots had a hard time tracking down a long ball sent over the top of the Mutiny defense, and squirted loose at the top of the penalty area. At full sprint, Gaul would track down Chesapeake's Marissa Kresge - who had an empty net scoring opportunity - and stifle the last chance for the visitors.
"Yeah, I thought we had the equalizer," said Charge Head Coach Albert Oni. "Everybody was a little excited but the goalkeeper came up big and made a great, great save. So, hat's off to her for really stepping up on that play."
Becca Mays would notch the insurance goal in extra-time for New England, getting behind the Charge defense and tapping the ball past an onrushing Quinn for the final score of 4-2. The Mutiny now travel south to face the Philadelphia Fever in what should be a tough back-to-back fixture. Kick-off at Washington Township H.S. in Sewell, NJ is slated for 7:30 PM.
STARTERS: NEM - Gaul; Richards, McCormack, Morrison, Dakin; Gallegos, Houle, Hood, Maurer; DiMartino, Howarth. SUBS: Reilly, Mays, Dimirdjian. CC - Hokanson; Dudley, Collins, Hnatiuk, Prior-Brown; Niedoba, Barger, Spivey, Skidmore; McCune, Hadaway. SUBS: Quinn, Kresge, Griffith, Reid, Clark, Brooks.
SCORING: NEM - 18' Maurer (Howarth); NEM - 25' Gallegos (Houle); CC - 27' Collins (unassisted); NEM - 32' Houle (PK); CC - 49' Reid (unassisted); NEM - 90' Mays (unassisted).
New York Fury 1 - 0 Western New York Flash
(Match report to follow)