A trio of Mutiny attackers - Howarth, Sotomayor & Houle - lead the offense
The New England Mutiny embarked on their 2017 season today, but unfortunately, the weather felt more like fall than the start of summer. Cold, blustery but sunny conditions greeted the Mutiny (1-0 UWS East) and the Rochester Lady Lancers (0-2 UWS East) as they took the pitch at East Longmeadow High School. And than the home side gave the visitors a greeting to United Women’s Soccer competition that they may not soon forget.
The New England offense clicked from the outset, scoring five first-half goals en route to the eventual 5-1 victory over the first-year UWS East side. The forward tandem of captain Kate Howarth (two goals) and forward Abby Sotomayor (goal, two assists) were in mid-season form. And midfielder Riley Houle (goal) had an especially strong day behind her two teammates, creating and distributing with aplomb.
“Kate and Abby from last year carried a great bond and a great chemistry over to this year,” said Mutiny Head Coach Joe Abele. “With them on the field, the whole team in general has a great chemistry… even though they were successful, I want to say the whole team was successful because they all fed off each other and propelled each other forward.”
New England got on the board early and often in this match. In the fifth minute, Mutiny youth product and University of Hartford star Julia Carr opened the season with a cracking goal, firing the ball over the reach of Rochester goalkeeper Caitie Broderick (five saves) from 30 yards out. Four minutes later, Sotomayor collected a loose ball 40 yards out from goal and fed Howarth in on goal for a 1v1 with Broderick. The captain fired her shot over the keeper’s slide and it was 2-0 for the Mutiny.
The forward tandem would connect again just two minutes later on a carbon copy of their prior goal for the 3-0 lead. New England would continue to slice and dice through the Lady Lancers defense, none more so than on Houle’s goal in the 18th minute. The former Boston Breaker would put on a dribbling clinic through a number of Rochester defenders and when she found a yard of space, blasted her shot inside the upper 90 of the goal from 25 yards out.
In the 32nd minute, Sotomayor would work hard for her lone tally of this match. Fairfield University standout Brenna Brown broke the right flank and served in a dangerous cross that Broderick could not collect. The ball bounced around in the penalty area and it was the Patriot League Rookie of the Year who got to it first and knocked it in for the 5-0 lead. It took the Lady Lancers until the 68th minute for them to score their first-ever UWS goal.
Mutiny keeper Anne-Marie Ulliac (one save) ran out of goal to break up a scoring opportunity and collided with Rochester forward Taylor Wingerden. The ball would squirt free and forward Ally Sharpe passed it into the open net for the 5-1 score line. New England would hold fast the rest of the way for the season-opening win over the Lady Lancers, out-shooting them by a 15-3 margin and winning the corner kick battle as well (5-0).
“We came into today’s game not knowing what to expect,” said Abele. “So, we were just working on team chemistry and we worked on our game today.”