Old adversaries met on the pitch for the first time in 15 years at East Longmeadow High School in East Longmeadow, MA, 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.
• NEW YORK MAGIC 1, TSF ACADEMY VALKYRIES 1
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.