Aldrich & Arruda come to the rescue in vital win
The New England Mutiny avoided a disastrous two-game weekend road trip to New York City on Sunday night, coming away with a vital 1-0 win over the New York Magic at Poly Prep Country Day School. Local star Lauren Aldrich scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute. After suffering a humbling 4-2 defeat to the New York Surf in the Bronx on Saturday, playing in Brooklyn the next day proved to be just as difficult a proposition for the Mutiny (3-1 East) as their old rival in the Magic (0-2-1 East) made it an arduous evening for the visitors.
Former Southern Connecticut State University goalkeeper Gabby Arruda made her first start of the season in net for New England in this match, and she proved her worth with a pair of fine stops in the first half. In the 28th minute, the Suffield, CT-native stuffed former Florida State star Mami Yamaguchi on a 1v1 opportunity. Three minutes later, Tabitha Sloane’s long-range blast from 30 yards out would force another astute save from the 2016 All-Northeast-10 Conference selection.
The score would stay scoreless as both teams went into halftime. The second half would see the Mutiny find more joy in the offensive end, as the offside trap played by the hosts frustrated them to no end (9-1 in offsides). Aldrich would foreshadow her heroics later in the match with an effort in the 62nd minute, forcing a big save from New York keeper Sierra Bonham. In the 86th minute, the Southampton, MA-native took advantage of a lapse in defensive attention by the Magic and went in on a breakaway off a threw ball from midfielder Alexa Casimiro.
Aldrich would beat Bonham for the 1-0 score and the eventual victory. New York would push hard for the equalizer but to no avail. The New England roster was augmented this weekend by the return of midfielder Julia Weithofer (E. Longmeadow, MA) to the Mutiny, while defender Brittany Champagne (Suffield, CT) made her debut, starting in both matches. New England will now prepare for another two-game road trip to New York this weekend but to the western part of the state. The Mutiny take on the WNY Flash (0-2-2 East) on Saturday and the Rochester Lady Lancers (0-3-1 East) on Sunday.