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National Women's Soccer League


July 12, 2016
NJ Copa captures east title

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - Real Salt Lake Women played their final regular season match last Thursday night at East High School, and sent their supporters home happy with a final score of 5-0 against the Colorado Pride for their first win at home this season (1-1-2 in four games) and their first-ever sweep of a UWS opponent.

Kira Sharp’s corner kick in the 10th minute bounced around a few players before finding the feet of team captain Natalie Norris. Her shot was grabbed by Pride goalkeeper Katie Ruff (four saves) who was unable to stop her momentum from taking the ball across the line for a 1-0 RSL lead. RSL doubled the lead in the 34th minute as Sharp played a nice ball to Bayley Bruner inside the penalty area. Bruner cut back to her left to shake the defender, then curled a left-footed shot past Ruff and inside the far post for the goal.

Sharp made her final mark on the match as her run in on goal in the 60th minute saw her taken down inside the box by a slide tackle from behind. Bizzy Phillips s converted the pk to put RSL ahead 3-0. Just four minutes later, RSL forward Madie Lyons looped a shot from 28 yards out on the right flank that beat Ruff and tucked into the upper left corner of the goal to make the score 4-0. The final score came through sub Jess Vanderveur, who ran onto a ball played over the defense by Alexis Robison, and collected it in time to place a shot just out of reach for RSL’s highest scoring match in UWS.

Rebecca Ritchie got the win in goal for the Real Women (five saves). First-place Real Salt Lake will have to wait until the rest of the UWS West contenders finish their respective schedules to see if they will host the UWS National Final on the weekend of July 30-31. Santa Clarita needs a win in their final regular season match on July 15th against the Pride to propel them past RSL. The Real Women will also have to wait on the Houston Aces, who need to win both their games this weekend to catapult them into first-place.

THORNTON, CO - The Santa Clarita Blue Heat scored four first half goals en route to a 5-1 win over the Colorado Storm on Friday night at 5 Star Stadium.

Chloe Castaneda continued her fine run of form lately for the Blue Heat, as the defending West Conference Offensive Player of the Week scored in the 17th minute on an assist from Kasandra Massey for the early 1-0 lead. Kodi Lavrusky doubled Santa Clarita’s advantage in the 27th minute with her fourth goal of 2016 on an assist by Yadira Toraya. The high-scoring defender added her third goal of the season in the 36th minute with thanks to Castaneda. Kelsey Gudgeon notched her first goal in the 43rd minute on a penalty kick to conclude the visitor’s scoring in the first half.

Julia Hernandez scored the fifth Blue Heat goal and her third of the season in the 67th minute with Gabrielle Matulich tallying her first assist of the year. The only Storm goal of the night came in the 87th minute, as Marina Schachowskoj’s penalty kick provided some late consolation for the hosts. Cristina Salazar picked up the loss in goal for the Storm, making no saves, as Jalen Tompkins came on at halftime. Jojo McCaskill got the win for Santa Clarita, making two saves while Siri Ervik came on as a late substitute.

NEW ROCHELLE, NY - New Jersey Copa F.C. put an exclamation mark on its remarkable inaugural season in the East Conference, capturing the conference title and along with it a berth in the UWS National Final with a dominant 7-2 rout of the New York Magic on Saturday afternoon at Mazzella Field. League-leading scorer Krystyna Freda (13 goals, 28 points) put a stamp on the victory for Copa with her 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 knotted at 1-1 in the 10th minute after both sides scored their opening goals in a span of a little over a minute, Freda exploded as she netted the second, fourth, fifth and seventh goals for NJCFC. She was involved in all three second half tallies, 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.

SOUTH HUNTINGTON, NY - A 90th minute goal by Deb Nelson gave the New England Mutiny a 2-1 win over the Long Island Rough Riders at Cy Donnelly Stadium Saturday. Despite the win, the Mutiny were knocked out of the playoff hunt by NJ Copa's earlier win.

Long Island (3-3-2) 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.

In the 44th minute, Brianna Kenney broke the right flank off a Kate 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.

LANCASTER, PA - The Lancaster Inferno ended their 2016 home slate in the UWS East in style, playing at Clipper Magazine Stadium and hammering the TSF Academy Valkyries by a 6-1 score. Lancaster (4-4) were led by Amy Rieker’s goal and an assist with four different Inferno players chipping in on their highest goal total of the season. Even though the team is out of the race for the East title, they can still catch the New England Mutiny for second-place in the conference as both teams have two games remaining.

Lancaster opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Rieker drove into the box from the left flank and fired a tight-angled shot past TSF Academy goalkeeper Caitlin Hoffer (eight saves) into the side netting. Veteran midfielder Teresa Rynier made the score 2-0 in the 18th minute off an assist from Rieker. In the 32nd minute, the Valkyries cut the score in half as Jen Andreessen beat Inferno keeper Emily Dolan (two saves, subbed at halftime) with a shot in the upper right corner. Lancaster went up 3-1 just before halftime, as defender Carol Sanchez stepped up and fired home a penalty kick.

Bailey Corbin scored in the 50th minute, while Natalia Pinkney added a pair of goals in injury time.

WAYNE, NJ - Stephanie Scholz registered a hat trick for TSF Academy Valkyries while Sara Sanau-Ruiz scored two unassisted tallies for the New York Magic, as the teams put on a spirited goalfest, with the home side coming out on top 6-4 at DePaul Catholic High School

Sanau-Ruiz (0-6-1)put New York ahead with two unassisted tallies in the 21st and 26th minutes , but TSF awoke 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.

New York's Shani Abrahams notched her fourth goal of the season just five minutes into the second half. But, TSF scored the next two goals. Jen Andresen assisted on Loyas’ second goal of the game in the 59th minute and then Loyas became provider for Scholz’ second goal in the 73rd minute for the 5-3 score in favor of the home side. Abrahams got her team-leading fifth goal just four minutes later to once again bring the Magic back in the game. Scholz 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.

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - For the first time in their three-year existence, the Colorado Pride will not qualify for the postseason. On Sunday afternoon at Washburn Field, the Pride (2-3-1) earned a 2-2 draw with the Santa Clarita Blue Heat, but with just two matches remaining in the inaugural UWS season, the best finish the team can secure is second-place in the West Conference. The Blue Heat (3-1-3) can still win the West, but need to defeat the Pride in their home rematch this Friday and hope the Houston Aces (3-3) don’t win their last two games this weekend. If the Aces and Blue Heat are tied, Houston wins via the second round of tiebreakers (total wins).

The Pride took the lead 10 minutes into the match, when Washington State star Kaitlyn Johnson scored from close range after a perfect 20-yard cross from Madison Wiegand Brown. But Santa Clarita scored twice in the first half, starting in the 19th minute when Kodi Lavrusky got behind the Pride defense on a nice pass from Julia Hernandez for the equalizer. The Blue Heat went up a goal in the 33rd minute when Arielle Roy-Petitclerc sent in a rebound from a shot by Chloe Castaneda. Pride goalkeeper Katie Ruff (two saves, subbed at halftime) made a nice diving stop on the initial shot but couldn’t prevent a rebound.

The Pride knew they had to win to stay in the playoff hunt and played like it in the second half. The equalizer came in the 64th minute, as Pride defender Lexi Long navigated into the box, got off a shot but was pulled down in the process. University of Central Florida standout Julia Moore converted the penalty kick for the 2-2 final score. Tanner Haughn’s header in stoppage time just missed the mark for the home side. SC keeper JoJo McCaskill (three saves) was critical down the stretch, eating away clock via her long punts.
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