The New England Mutiny defeated the Worcester Smiles by a 5-0 final at Lusitano Stadium on Saturday night. Mutiny forward Kate Howarth scored the game-winner in the 26’ off a header on a corner kick from Monson’s Brooke Murphy. Howarth’s goal would be the only tally for the better part of 60 minutes as the home side struggled to find much rhythm and found it difficult to break down Worcester’s disciplined defensive unit. The Mutiny aided the cause with 13 offside calls against them – mostly in the first half.
On this evening, it was an infusion of young and local talent that would carry the Mutiny through to victory as Agawam’s Hope Santaniello came on as a second half substitute to notch two goals to the elation of the home crowd at Lusitano. Santaniello’s first came in the 75’ after Murphy slotted her a through ball in which Santaniello rocketed the shot into the upper frame past Worcester keeper Brittany Henderson. The introduction of Chicopee’s Kylie Ratelle and Belchertown native Kayla Henry early in the second frame changed the momentum of this match. Granby’s Trystin Burger also energized the squad with her first appearance of the season as the Mutiny scored 4 goals in the last 28 minutes of the match.
Mutiny defensive stalwart Shauny Alterisio decided to take offensive matters in her own hands with an electric upfield run in the 65’ capping a give and go with Vermont’s Bruekelen Woodard that put the game out of reach. The Mutiny’s Zoe Steck scored her first a minute earlier on a breakaway from a Howarth feed. Santaniello ended the late onslaught with a clinical finish after a dynamic flank run from Henry who would then slide it to the Mutiny forward for her second of the match.
Mutiny goalkeeper Kelsey Kohler made four saves for New England, while Worcester’s Brittany Henderson did all she could to keep the final margin respectable with 11 saves. Strong defensive efforts from Alterisio, Ellie Jean, Meghan Cunningham and Sky Woodard kept Worcester off the scoreboard for 90’.
"We are very happy to get the win in front of another enthusiastic home crowd. Worcester showed great defensive discipline well into the second half before we were able to break them down. Every game is important and we are very pleased with the contributions of every single player on the roster this week including several local players. The organization of the coaching staff created an effective game plan that combined with the effort of the players made it a total team effort," stated Mutiny head coach Jeb Booth.
The Mutiny now turn its attention on Syracuse FC and reigning UWS Player of the Year Brooke Barbuto as the talent-laden expansion team comes to Lusitano Stadium next Saturday night June 15th at 7:00pm.