Last May, the Mutiny came into General Foley Stadium in Worcester, MA and they were dealt a humbling 1-0 loss that left the team searching for answers – answers that were never found in 2018. One of the great things about soccer is that there is always next year and next year is here. The New England Mutiny opened its 2019 season with a 3-0 victory over the Worcester Smiles.
Kate Howarth (Grand Blanc, MI/University of Miami) netted the game-winner just two minutes after halftime on a header off a service from Irish international and Central Connecticut State star Roma McLaughlin to break a scoreless draw in the 47’. The goal was the 50th goal scored by the all-time scoring leader for the Mutiny. Howarth added #51 a minute later after taking a feed from newcomer Olivia White (Pittsford, VT) and blasted a dipping half-volley into the upper 90. Worcester faces would get sadder four minutes later when Babson College star Jessica Fernandes placed a penalty shot past Worcester goalkeeper Brittany Henderson in the 53’. The PK call came after a collision between Howarth and Henderson, which forced Howarth to defer the spot kick to Fernandes and ultimately lead her to be substituted three minutes later. That six minute spell was all the Mutiny needed to down Worcester as the defensive stance by the Smiles, whose nickname is derived from the iconic symbol that was invented by a Worcester native, frustrated the Mutiny offense in a 0-0 first half.
“It is nice to start off the season, particularly our 20th, with a win on the road. The coaching staff put together a good game plan and every player on the roster executed that plan extremely well. We are fortunate to have a group of players that are dedicated to a ‘team first’ mentality,” stated Mutiny head coach Jeb Booth.
The Mutiny outshot Worcester by an 11-2 margin, however one of the two shots from Worcester came off the foot of Talia Borci and was labeled for the far corner, but a stellar diving save from goalkeeper Maddie Murphy (Grafton, MA/Boston College) preserved the shutout. Murphy was a late addition for New England because of the unavailability of Catalina Perez (Colombian National Team duty) and Kelsey Kohler (medical clearance). Murphy would combine with Abbie Terrinca (Ludlow, MA/Keene State) for the clean sheet. The match would also be the debut of local stars Kayla Henry (Belchertown, MA/Stonehill College), Vissi Rizos (Southampton, MA/UCONN) and Hope Santaniello (Agawam, MA). Midfielder Charlotte Maurer (Northampton, MA) logged 90 minutes as did Hatfield native Carrie Ellis in a defensive role alongside defensive stalwarts Meghan Cunningham (Simsbury, CT/UCONN) and Shauny Alterisio (Danbury, CT/Central Connecticut State).
“The first game is never easy in this league and it was great that we were able to utilize so many local players in this victory. Also, I am so proud of our #1 Kate Howarth for getting her 50th. She is an example of what can be achieved through hard work and dedication. If you stay in the game long enough you are bound to reach some sort of milestone, but seriously 50 goals are impressive,” added Mutiny Managing Director Joe Ferrara.
The Mutiny will now focus its attention on the home opener at Lusitano Stadium next Saturday at 7:00pm against the Long Island Rough Riders – a battle between two of the oldest franchises in women’s soccer history.