New Jersey Copa F.C. hosted their second consecutive match at Mercer County Community College, and we’re looking for their first home win. The 0-0 draw with the Long Island Rough Riders (1-0-1) was a positive result, but Copa wanted to grab all three points as they try to stake a claim in the UWS East Conference race. The 4-0 win over the New York Magic (0-2) on Sunday afternoon did just that, as NJCFC now lead the East with a 2-1-1 record.
Midfielder Alexandra Tinfow scored the eventual game-winning goal in the 11th minute on a cross from forward Phoenetia Browne, but it would take until the second half for Copa to put the game away. NJCFC were awarded a penalty kick in the 62nd minute, but Magic goalkeeper Samantha Depken (10 saves) would deny midfielder Jackie Bruno’s attempt for her team’s second goal of the match.
Copa would get the insurance goal just four minutes later, as forward Krystyna Freda notched her third goal of the season on an assist from Bruno. Midfielder Jenny Bitzer would make the score 3-0 for the home side in the 71st minute, scoring on her strike from outside the penalty area. Freda would tally her second goal of the match and fourth of the season in the 84th minute with thanks to midfielder Alexandra Nata.
With her four goals scored on the season, Freda is now tied with Kate Howarth of the New England Mutiny for the league lead. Usually a starter for Head Coach Roberto Aguas, Krystyna was nursing an injury and entered the game as a substitute in the 43rd minute and helped ignite the NJCFC offense (14 shots on goal, 28 total in match).
“I was very focused as I stepped on the field coming off the bench for this game,” said Freda. “I wanted to help the team in any way I could and was fortunate enough to put myself in good positions as my teammates found me up top. Doing my part to get another three points for our team felt great.”
The Copa defense was dominant in this win, as they limited New York to only three shots in the entire match. Last week’s UWS East Defensive Player of the Week Kristyn Shea (one save) got the win in goal but it was the midfield and defense that did the job in shutting down the Magic attack. The team has allowed only two goals in the past three games. NJCFC would also take more corner kicks in the win (9-1).
“We truly worked hard yesterday as a defensive unit,” said Copa defender Callie Duliba. “We allowed three shots the entire game which helped tremendously in the team shutout.”
Information provided by UWS press release.