The Inferno Rush took over the top spot in United Women’s Soccer East Conference with two wins this past weekend.
Inferno tied the Western New York Flash for the best record in the league with identical 5-2-0 marks and 15 points, but the Rush got the nod due to better goal differential (plus nine to plus six).
In chronological order, here are the games:
SATURDAY, JUNE 30
ROCHESTER LADY LANCERS 1, WESTERN NEW YORK FLASH 2
ROCHESTER, NY – It was a battle of the top two teams in the East Conference on a hot and hazy Saturday afternoon at the Marina Auto Stadium. Both sides came into the contest in good form as the host Lancers had won their previous three matches while the Flash won a pair of matches in the Bay State in Week VII. Not too many clear cut chances came during the first half but in the 43rd minute, the Flash took the lead. A well weighted pass from Chloe Dysler found the feet of talented striker Carissima Cutrona and the University of Buffalo product did the rest by outracing the defense along with Rochester goalkeeper Caitie Broderick before tucking home her fifth goal of the season. The Flash took their lead into the second half but found themselves on their heels in the early stages of the half as the Lancers pushed for the equalizing goal. But the hosts found themselves chasing a pair of goals after Cutrona took on all comers in the 66th minute and drilled a shot from just inside the box past Broderick for her second goal of the day. The Lady Lancers didn’t waste too much time in trimming their deficit to one when almost immediately off the restart, Taylor Wingerden scored her first goal of the season off of a goalmouth scramble after the Flash failed to clear Jada Sergeant’s cross. But they wouldn’t be able to net a second as Western New York held on for the result, backed in part by Emily Kelly’s excellent 11-save performance.
NEW JERSEY COPA FC 0, INFERNO RUSH 2
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – After picking up a 1-0 victory over New Jersey at home in Week VII, Inferno Rush trekked to the Garden State for the return match to kick off their two-match weekend. NJCFC did bounce back nicely after falling to the Rush last weekend by picking up a convincing 3-1 victory over Long Island in the midweek but the success of that match did not translate over into the weekend. On a very hot day in Central Jersey, neither team created many opportunities going forward in the first half and the score remained 0-0 through halftime. Inferno Rush came out firing early in the second half and tallied the opening marker just four minutes into the second half as Megan Carroll netted her first goal of the season, finishing off the ball from Teresa Rynier. The visitors doubled their lead in the 64th minute as Rynier once again played the facilitator, slipping a ball forward for Haley Crawford and the James Madison University striker did the rest, firing her effort past NJCFC goalkeeper Aytana Muschajew for her fourth goal of the season. That was enough to give the Rush all three points and started off their two-match weekend on a high note.
LONG ISLAND ROUGH RIDERS 3, NEW ENGLAND MUTINY 2
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – It was a key weekend for both Long Island and New England as both were looking to re-establish their confidence heading into the final stretch of the season with a positive result. Knowing that Western New York had already defeated Rochester, a win for New England could have temporarily put them level with the Lady Lancers for second place but they had to play catch up from the early minutes. After a good sequence of build up from the hosts, Kayla Saager found herself in front of goal and latched onto a low cross, scoring her fourth goal of the season. Long Island doubled their lead in the 24th minute as Kim Marra received a perfect through ball from Amanda Buck and finished off the chance. The Mutiny needed to create some momentum heading into the second half and got it in the 44th minute when Kate Howarth hammered home her sixth goal of the season after receiving Chantelle Swaby’s cross in the area. The comeback was completed for the Mutiny in the second half as the other half of the Mutiny’s talented scoring tandem Sydney Brackett took Howarth’s outside-of-the-foot pass in the 70th minute and ripped home the equalizer. But the story of the season for the Mutiny have been allowing crucial goals inside the final ten minutes and Saturday was no different as in the 88th minute, a low cross from Morgan Santoro to the back post found a wide open Laura Gomez, who tapped home the winner and secured three points. That result was enough to keep Long Island in the race for a spot in the East Conference Championship and while New England isn’t eliminated from the race either, they will have a tough road ahead of them if they want to see their season continue past Week X
CONNECTICUT FUSION 2, NEW YORK SURF 3
FARMINGTON, Conn. – For the second straight match at home, the Connecticut Fusion were able to stake themselves out to a two-goal lead. But also for the second consecutive home match, the Fusion saw points slip from their fingers as this week, it was the New York Surf who netted three in the second half to take a 3-2 victory on the road. Former University of New Haven product Kelly Quigley gave the hosts a one-goal lead in the 33rd minute as she netted her first tally of 2018. And that lead was doubled right after half time as leading striker Tori Sousa picked up her fifth goal of the season in the 47th minute. But that’s where the Surf, playing with their postseason lives on the line, put together a furious charge that the Fusion couldn’t stop. And it came via the Menta sisters as Melissa cut the Surf’s deficit to one in the 54th minute before younger sister Jenna netted the tying goal in the 82nd minute and the go-ahead goal in the 84th minute. Impressively enough, that gave the Surf their eighth road point of the season as while things haven’t gone right at home, they’ve gotten the job done on the road.
SUNDAY, JULY 1
INFERNO RUSH 7, WORCESTER SMILES 0
MILLERSVILLE, Pa. – The Inferno Rush capped off their six-point weekend with an emphatic 7-0 victory over the Worcester Smiles. In temperatures in the mid-90s, the hosts drained whatever energy the Smiles had in the early stages with three goals inside of ten minutes. After playing the main facilitator in Saturday’s victory, Teresa Rynier posted an all-around strong afternoon with a pair of goals, including the opener in the first minute, along with a pair of assists. Haley Crawford also got in on the goal scoring fun with a pair of goals, giving her three on the weekend and scoring in three of the teams’ last four matches. Tesa McKibben and Kara Weller each provided a goal and an assist and Kay Liebl rounded out the goal scoring for the Rush, who now sit level with Western New York in first place before they take on the Flash next weekend.