EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. – With its 4-0 win over the Western New York Flash (4-4-2) Sunday afternoon at East Longmeadow High School, the United Women’s Soccer season for the New England Mutiny (7-3) continues on for one more week.
New England awaits the results from the last two regular season matches of the Long Island Rough Riders (5-2-1), who finish up their schedule next weekend. Long Island needs to win both matches to qualify for the second spot in the East Final (Tuesday, July 18). If they don’t, the Mutiny will travel south to face regular season conference champion New Jersey Copa FC (8-1-1) for the automatic berth into the UWS National Championship (July 21-22) held in Grandville, Mich. The combination of Gabby Arruda and Annie Ulliac combined for the shutout with Arruda making all three saves in first half action.
In the 43rd minute, substitute midfielder Marissa Aniolowski came on for Sharlotte Pernice and converted on her first goal of the season seconds later. Midfielder Brenna Brown drove down deep on the left flank and floated a cross that Aniolowski drove with her header inside the near post past WNY goalkeeper Kenna Kosinski (five saves). Just four minutes after halftime, the Seton Hall standout tallied her second goal, rising high again for Julia Weithofer’s corner kick and thumping her header off the crossbar and over the goal line. In the 54th minute, Mutiny captain Kate Howarth rang her free kick from 30 yards out off the crossbar and Brown mopped up the rebound. In the 72nd minute, Brown scored her third goal of the season, taking advantage of another rebound for the fourth and final score of the match.
Western New York Flash 6, New York Magic 0
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Western New York forward Carissima Cutrona continued her late-season scoring run, tallying four goals and an assist in the Flash’s 6-0 win over the New York Magic (0-8-1) Saturday night at Poly Prep Country Day School. Cutrona’s 26 total points (11 goals, four assists) puts her in second place in league scoring with one weekend left in the regular season. WNY goalkeeper Megan Tock made four saves in the victory while New York’s Sierra Bonham stopped four shots in the loss. Four first half goals by Margretta Dry, Cutrona and Madisyn Pezzino put the visitors in a lead that they would not relinquish.
In the fifth minute, Hope Balling sent in a long pass from the left flank and Dry converted on it for the early 1-0 lead. Danielle Braun sent Cutrona in on a breakaway in the 29th minute and nine minutes later, Jenna Raepple tallied her first assist of the season as the former University of Buffalo star was left wide open to tally the third goal of the match. In the 44th minute, Cutrona sent Pezzino in on a breakaway to put the Flash up by a 4-0 score going into halftime. Two more goals from Cutrona in the 50th and 85th minutes completed the scoring on the night. It was the third straight victory for Western New York, which outscored its opposition by a 13-3 margin over that winning streak.
New Jersey Copa FC 1, Lancaster Inferno 0
MILLERSVILLE, Pa. – With their 1-0 road win over the Lancaster Inferno (4-5 East) at Pucillo Field on Saturday afternoon combined with Long Island’s loss earlier in the day, New Jersey Copa FC (8-1-1 East) claimed the 2017 regular season conference title and will host the East Final on Tuesday, July 18 at 7 p.m. (ET). The winner of that match will receive the automatic berth into the UWS National Championship. New Jersey awaits its opponent as the New England Mutiny (7-3) are in second-place while Long Island (5-2-1) still have two games to play in the regular season. Jasmine Colbert notched the game-winner in the 46th minute in her first game action of the 2017 campaign.
Copa posted its fifth shutout of the season and third clean sheet in the last four games as Jenny Bitzer, center backs Alana O’Neill, Rebecca Raber and Megan Hunsberger limited Lancaster to only four shots on goal and no true dangerous chances. Goalkeeper Aytana Muschajew made four saves to back up her defensive unit. Inferno keeper Jordan Kamp made 10 saves in the loss. Colbert made her debut after the reigning UWS Player of the Year Krystyna Freda had to exit the game due to injury. An errant pass intercepted by NJCFC and a quick through ball by Jessi Reinhardt at the start of the second half proved to be the difference in the game. Colbert finished the breakaway for the lone goal of the match.
New York Surf 3, Long Island Rough Riders 2
BRONX, N.Y. – In one of the more exciting games in the brief history of the league, the New York Surf (6-2-2) hosted the Rough Riders (5-2-1 East) at SUNY Maritime on Saturday afternoon in a bout with big implications in the East playoff race. What resulted was a back-and-forth encounter with well-worked goals as the Surf tallied a late game-winner from forward Erica Murphy in a 3-2 victory. In fact, Murphy scored all three goals in the win while goalkeeper Colleen Hickey made four saves. Melissa Guglielmo (nine saves) picked up the loss for Long Island, but not without making a couple of big stops in the second half that kept her team in the game.
The Rough Riders scored first in the 25th minute when forward Christina Bellero drove deep on the right flank and served in a cross that forward Erica Modina one-timed past Hickey. Long Island held the run of play in the first half but the second half was a different matter as New York picked up the pace of play. In the 47th minute, Murphy took advantage of a defensive miscue to tie the score. Twenty-one minutes later, Rachel Corboz assisted on Murphy’s second goal of the game to put the Surf in the lead. In the 77th minute, Rough Riders forward Morgan Santoro skillfully evened the score at 2-2, converting on a chipped pass from Kimberly Marra. New York pressured for the winner and got it in the 87th minute. Kelly Conheeney sent Murphy in on goal with a beautiful through ball and the former Monmouth star won the game for the Surf with an authoritative one-time strike past Guglielmo.
The Surf is still in the running for a wildcard berth.