UWS Week 1 Wrap-Up: Long Island and New England both score 3-0 wins in their 2016 home openers

UWS Week 1 Wrap-Up: Long Island and New England both score 3-0 wins in their 2016 home openers

LONG ISLAND ROUGH RIDERS 3, NEW JERSEY COPA F.C. 0

SOUTH HUNTINGTON, NY – The Long Island Rough Riders hosted the Inaugural Game of United Women’s Soccer (UWS) this past Saturday, taking on the first-year New Jersey Copa F.C. program at Saint Anthony’s High School. The long-time women’s soccer organization would come out on top over the up-and-coming NJCFC (0-1 UWS East) side, netting two first-half goals en route to a 3-0 victory for the Rough Riders (1-0 UWS East).

Long Island’s Christina Bellero would score the first-ever goal in UWS history in the 16th minute of the match and it would stand as the eventual game-winner. Team captain Alexa Schneider sent a ball over the top of the Copa defense that the Saint John’s University forward ran on to and she beat goalkeeper Christiana Ogunsami on a 1 v. 1 with a low shot inside the corner of goal.

The Rough Riders would double their lead in the 25th minute on a goal from Taylor Elliott. After some strong interplay on the flank, Laura Gomez ran in between two defenders to volley a cross that the Vanderbilt Commodore forward finished for the 2-0 game. The Gomez-Elliott combination caused fits for the NJCFC defense in the first half and the duo were rewarded with the goal.

Long Island would continue to hold the run of play in the second half, with Bellero scoring her second goal of the night in the 68th minute. The Melville, NY-native received the ball in between two Copa defenders and blasted her shot past goalkeeper Kristyn Shea for the 3-0 final score. Bellero was a pest all night for the Rough Riders attack and her hard work clinched the victory for the home side.

Long Island out-shot Copa in the match by a 15-4 margin while Rough Riders goalkeeper Melissa Guglielmo made two saves on the night. The Ogunsami/Shea combination in goal for NJCFC made four saves in the match. Next up for Long Island and New Jersey is the rubber match in the season series for both teams as they face off at Mercer Community College in West Windsor Township, NJ this Sunday, May 22nd (4:30 PM kickoff).

NEW ENGLAND MUTINY 3, NEW YORK MAGIC 0

EAST LONGMEADOW, MA – The New England Mutiny were treated with a capacity crowd of over 900 fans at East Longmeadow High School on Saturday night for their home opener against old rival New York Magic. New England sent them home smiling as they scored three first-half goals in the 3-0 win. The last time the two teams met was during the 2001 season in the now-defunct W-1 League, with the Mutiny (1-0 UWS East) getting another home victory over the Magic (0-1 UWS East) on this night.

Team captain Kate Howarth would pace the Mutiny offense on the night, scoring two goals, while new signing Abby Sotomayor added a goal and an assist. Howarth would net the eventual game-winning goal in the 8th minute of play, as she dribbled in 1 v. 1 on goal on a through-ball by Stephanie Santos and slotted her shot past Magic goalkeeper Samantha Depken (nine saves).

New England kept up the pressure on the New York defense via the captain and her understudy’s hard work. In the 28th minute, Sotomayor – a 2015 NSCAA H.S. All-American and rising freshman for Colgate University – would notch the Mutiny’s second goal, as she received a pass from midfielder Charlie Branch and shed her defender at the top of the penalty area.

Depken ran out of goal to decrease the angle of her shot but Sotomayor would lift the ball over the on-rushing keeper for the 2-0 lead. That wouldn’t be enough for her, as she assisted on Howarth’s second goal of the match in the 31st minute. The former Boston Breaker got her shot past Depken with a cheeky side-footed flick of her boot for the 3-0 final score.

“The combination play we did up top today was really good,” said Howarth. “We combined well. We did a couple of give and go’s and found some openings and put some good shots on frame.”

In the second half, New York came out with more purpose. They almost scored a goal of their own in the 65th minute as Gabriela Morales unleashed a drive that caromed off the upper 90 of the goal for the Magic’s best scoring chance of the night. Mutiny goalkeeper Anne-Marie Ulliac (five saves) would breathe a sigh of relief after that and she and her defense would hold on for the clean sheet.

New England out-shot New York by a 12-6 margin and enjoyed a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks. New England heads south this weekend as they take on the Lancaster Inferno in their season opener at Millersville University’s Pucillo Field in Millersville, PA on Sunday, May 22 (5:00 PM kickoff).

“The offensive output tonight was quite a refreshing change from previous years,” said New England Mutiny Head Coach Joe Abele. “It just shows that we have great kids with great chemistry and good things happened. The chemistry flowed through and as you could see, success was in the cards for this evening.”

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