Mutiny withstand two come-back attempts from old rival Magic
So far this season in the East Conference of United Women’s Soccer (UWS), its not scoring goals that seems to be the issue for the New England Mutiny, but allowing them. For the fourth time in five games, the Mutiny (4-1) scored three goals in a match but their defense would allow the New York Magic (0-3-1) to come back twice before a late tally secured the 3-2 road win. New England veteran Deb Nelson would net the game-winning goal in the 86th minute of the match.
“What a nail-biting performance it was today,” said Mutiny Head Coach Joe Abele. “It was a battle of which team wanted it more with us being the victor in the end. New York made us fight for every inch of real estate. I’m proud of our women. It wasn’t pretty but I’ll take ugly wins, too.”
The Mutiny would start the match on the front foot, testing the Magic repeatedly in the first 20 minutes of the match. Andrea Plucenik just missed on her shot in the 12th minute and New York goalkeeper Samantha Depken (six saves) robbed the former UConn standout two minutes later on a kick save. New England would get on the scoreboard in the 20th minute, as Rachel Ugolik finished her shot inside the upper 90 of the goal for the 1-0 lead with thanks to an assist by captain Kate Howarth.
But the Magic would tie the match at 1-1 just six minutes later, as Sara Sanau-Ruiz sent in Maura Torres on goal and she chipped her shot over Mutiny keeper Ashley Cavanaugh (two saves). This was the first start of the 2016 season for the Belchertown-native and Central Connecticut State Blue Devil in goal for New England. The match would stay tied as it went into into halftime.
The Mutiny would again go ahead in the 55th minute, as Stephanie Santos’ corner kick found Howarth, who volleyed her shot past Depken for the 2-1 score and her seventh goal of the season - good for second in all of UWS. In the 67th minute, New York would level the score at 2-2 as Shani Abrahams scored her second goal of the season for the Magic. As time wold tick off the clock, two substitutes would combine together to get the victory for New England.
In the 68th minute, Nelson’s bid for an immediate response to New York’s goal was cleared off the line. That would not happen in the 86th minute, as Mutiny newcomer Chantelle Swaby broke the flank and served in a ball to Nelson, who blasted her shot home for the game-winning goal. It was the first goal for the team veteran since the 2009 season. New England will complete their two-game weekend road trip on Sunday, as they face the TSF Academy Valkyries at DePaul Catholic High School (4:00 PM kickoff).