UWS East and West Conference Weekend Wrap-up
UWS East Conference Weekend Wrap-up
Copa extinguishes Inferno; Mutiny & Rough Riders renew rivalry
NEW ENGLAND MUTINY 3, LONG ISLAND ROUGH RIDERS 2
EAST LONGMEADOW, MA – Old adversaries met on the pitch for the first time in 15 years at East Longmeadow High School, as the New England Mutiny hosted the Long Island Rough Riders in a UWS East match on Saturday night. It turned out to be a tale of two halves, with the Rough Riders (1-2-1) controlling the opening 45 minutes while the Mutiny (3-1) took the second half, winning by a 3-2 score.
New England captain Kate Howarth led the scoring, notching two goals to bring her season total up to six including the game-winner in the 53rd minute. Howarth took advantage of a defensive miscue by Long Island in the 5th minute. The former Boston Breaker dribbled around Rough Riders goalkeeper Melissa Guglielmo and slotted the ball into the far corner for the early 1-0 lead.
From there, Long Island would hold the run of play. Alexa Schneider beat the Mutiny defense to the ball on a free kick from the right flank by Krista Fitzpatrick in the 12th minute. Fourteen minutes later, the Rough Riders would go up 2-1 on a great individual effort from Christina Bellero. She picked up the ball 25 yards from goal on the right flank, dribbled through a number of defenders and deposited her shot past Mutiny keeper Anne-Marie Ulliac inside the far post.
The second half would see the home side pick up the pace of play. In the 49th minute, Anais Chareyron pressured the Rough Riders defense on what was an innocuous ball deep in LI territory and would tap it into the heart of the penalty area. Stephanie Santos battled a Long Island defender and buried her shot in the empty net for the 2-2 score.
Four minutes later, Abby Sotomayor fed Charlie Branch in on goal. Branch’s bid for a goal was stopped by Guglielmo but Howarth pounced on the loose ball and hammered her shot home for the game-winner. The Mutiny will now embark on a four-game road trip. Next weekend, they travel to face the New York Magic (0-2-1) on Saturday before Sunday’s match at the TSF Academy Valkyries (0-2-1). Long Island travels to Lancaster (2-2) on Sunday.
LANCASTER INFERNO 0, NEW JERSEY COPA F.C. 5
MILLERSVILLE, PA – What was potentially a battle between an unstoppable force and an immovable object became a rout for the former, as New Jersey Copa F.C. (4-1-1) scored early and often in their road match against the Lancaster Inferno on Saturday afternoon, winning by a 5-0 score. Copa has played the most games of any UWS team this season and also lead the league in goals scored (17). Lancaster’s defense just came off two shutout victories on the road but unfortunately, their home troubles continued with their second loss in as many games at Pucillo Field.
NJCFC opened the scoring in the 2nd minute of play, as Krystyna Freda assisted on the eventual game-winning goal by Jeanine Nunez. Freda would score the next three goals for the road team in the 28th, 39th and 58th minutes of the match. Her three goals and assist now put her at the tops of the scoring ledger for UWS (eight goals, one assist). Phoenitia Browne would finish the scoring for Copa in the 78th minute.
Goalkeeper Kristyn Shea (three saves) would get the win in net for NJCFC while Emily Dolan (five saves) took the loss for the Inferno. Copa out-shot Lancaster by a 15-6 margin. The two teams will face one another again this Saturday, as NJCFC return to Mercer County Community College for a 4:30 PM kickoff.
NEW YORK MAGIC 1, TSF ACADEMY VALKYRIES 1
NEW ROCHELLE, NY – Two former W-League teams were looking for their first win of the season this past Saturday afternoon. The New York Magic hosted the TSF Academy Valkyries at Iona College’s Mazzella Field with both sides having found life in the new national pro-am women’s soccer league a bit difficult. The Valkyries would score the first goal, but the Magic would score the next one and after a back-and-forth second half, the two teams would go home with the 1-1 draw.
Amber Crispin opened the scoring for TSF in the 28th minute off an assist by Brittany Cooper. New York would come back in the 41st minute, as Shani Abrahams notched the first Magic goal of the season with thanks to an assist from Sara Sanau-Ruiz. The score would stay at 1-1 going into halftime with the home side thanking goalkeeper Samantha Depken (six saves), who made two back-to back saves to keep New York in the game.
The second half would see no goals scored, but both the Magic and Valkyries hit the cross bar or the post in scoring efforts to get the win. TSF out-shot New York by a 17-10 margin with Valkyries keeper Rachel Egyed making six saves in the draw.
UWS West Conference Weekend Wrap-up
Houston weathers Pride attack; RSL & Santa Clarita battle to draw
COLORADO PRIDE 0, HOUSTON ACES 1
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – One squad exuberant, the other side with dampened spirits. That describes the mood after the final United Women’s Soccer (UWS) match of the weekend as the Houston Aces completed their two-game road trip with a 1-0 victory over the Colorado Pride at rain-soaked Washburn Field. With severe thunderstorms racing through the region, the teams had to return to the locker rooms on two occasions, totaling a total of over three hours of delays.
The Pride (2-1) entered the afternoon in command of the UWS West Conference after the Aces (2-3) had lost to the Colorado Storm (1-2-1) by a 2-1 score on Friday, while the Santa Clarita Blue Heat (1-0-2) and Real Salt Lake Women (1-1-1) battled to a draw in Utah on Saturday. Houston had other thoughts, applying a suffocating defense that repeatedly blocked, deflected and thwarted Pride scoring opportunities.
The visitors needed only one good scoring chance and they took advantage of it in the 29th minute. Colombian National Team player and Austin Peay grad Tatiana Ariza drilled a ball into the side netting from 25 yards out. The Aces had to endure repeated build-ups by the Pride, who outshot Houston by a 14-11 margin, but the combination of team defense and netminder Courtney Seelhorst (seven saves) were enough to earn the clean sheet. Katie Ruff made two saves in goal for the Pride.
The Houston win makes the UWS West an extremely tight race as the sides approach the midway point of the season. With Houston and Pride locked atop the table, Santa Clarita sits one point behind, Real Salt Lake are just two points back, and the Storm are three out. The Pride set their sights on Friday night’s home showdown with the Real Women, who make the two-game trek to Colorado. The Aces will travel to the Blue Heat on Saturday.
REAL SALT LAKE WOMEN 1, SANTA CLARITA BLUE HEAT 1
KAYSVILLE, UT – The rainy weather that Real Salt Lake Women encountered in their match at Houston last week seemed to follow them home. A brave crowd of supporters came out to support the hosts in their first-ever match against the Santa Clarita Blue Heat at Davis High School Stadium on Saturday night and went home with an exciting 1-1 draw. RSL was looking to carry over the momentum of a 4-1 road victory the previous week, while the Blue Heat wanted to get back into the win column after a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Storm.
The Real Women started the match strong, working up the left flank through Kira Sharp. Her combinations with Jeni Viernes and Elena Medeiros created several good shots on goal in the first half, and nearly produced an early lead for the hosts. The visitors had their share of chances as well, using good passing through the midfield to open up two great shots for their forwards which were saved by RSL goalkeeper Becca Ritchie (seven saves).
The half ended scoreless, and RSL Head Coach Mark Davis made one change to his team at the break, putting in midfielder Mariah Bullock for Viernes and Medeiros shifted to the center forward spot. In the 70th minute, a hard foul on captain Annie Hawkins led to the second substitution of the match as she was shaken up on the play, and was replaced by Brecken Mozingo.
The visitors would grab the lead in the 81st minute as a sequence of passes opened up a gap in the RSL defense, and Blue Heat forward Kassi Massey was able to finish past Ritchie for a 1-0 lead. RSL made two more late substitutions, adding Jess Vanderveur and Kim Gale at forward to push the attack and find a late equalizer. The move ultimately paid off inside the three added minutes of stoppage time as Vanderveur was brought down just inside the penalty area after getting on the end of a great pass.
Midfielder Bizzy Phillips stepped up to the spot and put away the late goal low and to the left of Blue Heat keeper JoJo McCaskill (one save) for the final 1-1 score. Santa Clarita would out-shoot the Real Women by a 15-5 margin in the match.
COLORADO STORM 2, HOUSTON ACES 1
THORNTON, CO – After two losses to start the season, the Colorado Storm built on last week’s 1-1 road draw against Santa Clarita and notched their first victory with a 2-1 home win over Houston this past Friday night. Inclement weather was the side-plot for all three UWS West games this weekend. The Storm and Aces had to wait out a brief delay to the start of the match due to lightning. The home side would strike for the first two goals of the match, weathering a late Houston rally.
Midfielder Isobel Dalton started off the scoring for the Storm in the 21st minute on an assist from Olivia Blaber. She delivered a perfect cross for Dalton to score from inside the six yard box. Dalton would assist on the eventual game-winning goal in the 81st minute by Blaber. The Storm forward dribbled around Houston keeper Courtney Seelhorst to shoot the ball into an open net.
Two minutes later, the Aces would be awarded a penalty kick after a lapse of concentration by the home side. Colombian international and University of Toledo midfielder Isabella Echeverri Restrepo would score on the spot kick for the final score of the match. Cristina Salazar would get the win in goal for the Storm, as she was substituted at the half by Jalen Tompkins.
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