Kacey Lawrence scored the Connecticut Fusion’s lone goal. (Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios)
FARMINGTON, Conn. – In a battle of second and third place teams in United Women’s Soccer East Conference action on Saturday night, Scorpions SC who walked away from the Farmington Sports Arena with a 3-1 victory over the Connecticut Fusion in the latter’s regular season home finale.
The Fusion (3-2-3, 12 points) could slip from third to fifth place in the division by the end of the weekend and will likely need maximum points from its remaining two matches, both of which will be on the road, to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Scorpions SC (5-1-2, 17 points) extended its winning streak to three matches and kept itself within striking distance of first-place FC Buffalo Women, who sit on 19 points after their 5-1 home victory over the New England Mutiny Saturday night.
The visitors came out of the gate flying, scoring twice inside the opening 10 minutes. The first tally came in the eighth minute when Marykate McGuire ran onto a ball played over the top, shrugged off Fusion center back Sofia Weber and fired a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Allie Augur. Only 65 seconds after the restart, the Scorpions doubled their lead when Meg Hughes made a darting run forward from the midfield, played a give-and-go with Chloe Layne at the top of the box before rocketing her shot past Augur.
Just as the Fusion looked like they were starting to get back into the match, the visitors added a third in the 20th minute when McGuire turned from scorer to facilitator as she unlocked Layne down the left flank before finishing past Augur.
The Fusion had a couple of opportunities to pull one back right before halftime as Tori Sousa flashed a curling effort wide of the mark in the 44th minute and in first-half stoppage time, Maegen Doyle bent a free kick over the wall that had to be parried over the bar by keeper Kayla Thompson.
The hosts pulled a goal back just past the hour mark as Kacey Lawrence got fouled in the box when she tried to latch onto a Chanel Johnson cross. The University of Michigan product ended up having her penalty kick attempt saved by Thompson but the referee ordered a retake of the spot kick as Thompson was deemed to have come off her line early. On the second attempt, Lawrence made no mistake in blasting it past Thompson and raised her season goal total to four from five games.
That, however, would be the lone tally on the night for the hosts as despite a close chance in the 89th minute from second-half substitute Ellery Winkler, the Fusion didn’t do enough to trouble Thompson.
The Fusion start its final two-game road trip of the season Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. when it faces their in-state rival Connecticut Rush at Bittner Park in Guilford, Conn.