May 22, 2016   MILLERSVILLE, PA

Meghan CunninghamHowarth nets two goals and an assist in important conference road win

The budding rivalry between the New England Mutiny and Lancaster Inferno took the next step up to confirmed status on Sunday, as the two United Women’s Soccer (UWS) East Conference sides battled it out for all 90 minutes. Two goals and an assist from Kate Howarth would get the three points for the visitors as the Mutiny (2-0) would defeat the Inferno (0-1) by a 3-2 score in Lancaster’s Summer 2016 home opener at Pucillo Field.

Howarth would net the eventual game-winner in the 72nd minute of the match, as midfielder Romina Bell fired a free kick from 30 yards out that Inferno goalkeeper Emily Dolan (six saves) couldn’t corral. The team captain was there for the rebound and put the ball away for the final score of the match. Lancaster would press for the equalizer but didn’t get any more scoring chances on New England keeper Anne-Marie Ulliac (six saves).

The Inferno’s Katherine Hackos was a handful for the Mutiny defense on the day, scoring both Lancaster goals in each half of play. For New England Head Coach Joe Abele, he was proud of the comeback effort of his side and they did what they had to do to get the vital conference road win against a tough opponent.

“It was a great divisional matchup and a hard-fought victory,” said Abele. “Our defense may have bent but they didn’t break today.”

The match started out with the Inferno on the front foot with a trio of scoring opportunities in the first 15 minutes of play. After midfielder Anais Chareyron’s near miss in the 16th minute for the Mutiny, Lancaster would go ahead in the next minute as Hackos broke in on goal off a Natalie Connell pass and lifted her shot over Ulliac for the 1-0 lead.

New England would counter after the opening goal with Howarth hitting the post in the 22nd minute and than sending her shot over the cross bar in the 33rd minute. The Mutiny would get the equalizing goal in the 38th minute, as Howarth fed Liana Hinds in on goal from the right side and the former UConn Husky dodged a defender and lobbed her shot over Dolan for the 1-1 score.

In the second half, New England would come out of the gates firing and took the 2-1 lead in the 49th minute. Bell would send in a cross that Howarth would head in for the go-ahead goal. The Inferno would make a comeback of their own and Hackos would tie the match at 2-2 in the 57th minute on a bouncing ball inside the box. Trisha Clark would hit the post in the 65th minute for the home side which would set up Howarth’s game-winner for the visitors seven minutes later.

Howarth’s fourth goal of the season and her assist in today’s match gives her the lead in the UWS East in scoring after two weekends of conference action. Lancaster would out-shoot the New England in this match by a 13-6 margin while the Mutiny would have more corner kicks (4-3).

“[Kate] gets the fire going and makes the flames go real high,” said Abele about his team captain’s impact on the team.

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