It was a busy weekend in the United Women’s Soccer league as both New York teams saw action on the pitch, and an East Conference champion was crowned with two weeks remaining in the season.
NEW YORK MAGIC 2, NEW JERSEY COPA F.C. 7
New Jersey Copa F.C. put an exclamation mark on its inaugural season in the East Conference, capturing the conference title and along with a berth in the UWS National Final with a 7-2 win over New York Magic on Saturday afternoon at Mazzella Field.
League-leading scorer Krystyna Freda (13 goals, 28 points) lead Copa with four goals and an assist — good for the top single-game scoring mark in the young history of the new national pro-am league.
With the game tied 1-1 in the 10th minute, Freda began to take over as she netted the second, fourth, fifth and seventh goals for NJCFC. She was involved in all three second half goals for New Jersey, scoring twice while assisting on Alexis Williams’ goal. Defender Monique Goncalves netted the first goal and assisted on both of Freda’s first half tallies while playing a major role in a defensive unit that limited the Magic to just two shots on frame.
Eboni Birch tied the game in the 10th minute for New York after Goncalves initially put Copa on the board. Jeanine Nunez (third in UWS scoring) collected her sixth goal of the season in the 17th minute for what proved to be the game-winner. Midfielder Jackie Bruno assisted on the game’s first goal while defender Callie Duliba contributed to Nunez’ game-winner. Sara Sanau-Ruiz collected a goal in the 66th minute to cut the deficit in half to 4-2 before NJCFC unleashed three goals in the final seven minutes of play. After making 10 saves in the first meeting of the season, Magic keeper Samantha Depken was busy again, stopping six of the 13 shots on goal.
LONG ISLAND ROUGH RIDERS 1, NEW ENGLAND MUTINY 2
The New England Mutiny were victorious in their final regular season road game of the year, as they defeated the Long Island Rough Riders 2-1 on a 90th minute goal from veteran forward Deb Nelson.
The Mutiny (5-3), however, fell short of their ultimate goal as New Jersey Copa F.C. (7-1-1) won earlier on Saturday afternoon and clinched the UWS East title and berth into the UWS National Final.
Long Island started the match on the front foot and notched their only goal of the match in the 13th minute. After a well-worked corner kick routine on the left flank, Erin Neville drove in a cross that Alexa Schneider headed home in the center of the penalty area. Late in the half, the Mutiny’s Kate Howarth would set up the game-tying goal in the 44th minute.
Brianna Kenney broke the right flank off a Howarth pass, and served a cross to the top of the 6-yard box. Chantelle Swaby made a run from the left flank, got inside her defender and touched home the cross inside the far post for the 1-1 score. As time ticked away in the second half, Jessica Miller sent Howarth in on goal off the right flank and the team captain dribbled into the penalty area. Her pass to the top of the box found Nelson who one-timed her shot inside the far post past Rough Riders goalkeeper Melissa Guglielmo (three saves) in the 90th minute. Mutiny keeper Annie Ulliac made four saves in net as both teams had five shots on goal.
TSF ACADEMY VALKYRIES 6, NEW YORK MAGIC 4
After tough defeats on Saturday, TSF Academy Valkyries and New York Magic took part in a spirited goalfest that the Valkyries (2-3-2) would emerge victorious 6-4. Stephanie Scholz would net a hat-trick for TSF.
Sara Sanau-Ruiz put New York ahead with two unassisted tallies in the 21st and 26th minutes of the match. TSF would awaken from their early-match slumber right after the Magic’s second goal and score three unanswered goals to end the first half. Scholz put the home side on the scoreboard in the 29th minute while Meghan Griffin and Gladys Loyas followed that up with goals in the 36th and 39th minutes, respectively. Defender Alana O’Neill assisted on Griffin’s goal — her first of the season. While Sanau-Ruiz led the New York offense in the first half, Shani Abrahams would step in after halftime.
Abrahams notched her fourth goal of the season just five minutes into the second half. But, TSF would respond and scored the next two goals. Jen Andresen assisted on Loyas’ second goal of the game in the 59th minute and than Loyas would become provider for Scholz’ second goal in the 73rd minute for the 5-3 score in favor of the home side. Abrahams would net her team-leading fifth goal just four minutes later to once again bring the Magic back in the game. Yet, Scholz would put the final stamp on the win in the 80th minute. Bjonda Ademi (one save) got the win, sharing time in net with Caitlin Hoffer for TSF while Samantha Depken made seven saves for New York.