PORTLAND, Maine – The New England Mutiny (2-2-2 WPSL New England) bettered their scoring output from their four previous matches in a vital 6-2 road victory over the Maine Mariners (0-6-0 WPSL New England) at Memorial Field. |
The Mutiny offense was led by forwards Rachel Ugolik (two goals, one assist) and Tori Sousa (goal, two assists). The duo also received some timely assistance from midfielder Roxy Lee-Stewart, who notched her first goal and assist of the 2014 season.
The visitors came out of the gate with intent, as Ugolik scored her second goal of the season from 10 yards out off an assist from Sousa in just the fifth minute. Six minutes later, Sousa sent in a cross that Lee-Stewart deposited in the upper 90 with her header. Ugolik almost gave New England a 3-0 lead in the 20th minute, but she was called for offside.
The Mutiny would hold the run of play for the remainder of the half, led by the strong defensive play from Jenna Fisher and Alyssa Martino while Julia Weithofer got forward from her midfield position. But the inability to get the back-breaking goal came back to haunt them in first-half stoppage time as Maine capitalized on a New England own goal off a corner kick.
The second half would start the same as the first for the Mutiny, as the team pressured the Mariner goal from the outset. Maine goalkeeper Caton Beaulieu would thwart Ugolik on her scoring chance in the 50th minute, but New England would go up again by two goals the next minute. Weithofer sent a rocket inside the top corner from the top of the area for the 3-1 score.
The University of Massachusetts star scored her first goal of the 2014 season in the season-opening win over Maine at East Longmeadow High School from a similar spot on the field. Her goal started off an intense five-minute burst of play that saw Ugolik and Kate Howarth get denied by Beaulieu on high-quality scoring chances, but what would follow was a Mariners goal.
In the 55th minute, Caitlin Bucksbaum fired her shot from 30 yards out past Mutiny goalkeeper Ellie McDougall, who made her 2014 debut as a second half substitute for starter Carly McCabe. The next minute, Sousa drove back down the field and drew a penalty kick. Howarth, the former Boston Breaker, netted the spot kick for the 4-2 score and now leads the team in scoring (four goals, three assists).
From there, it was easy sailing for New England. In the 73rd minute, Ugolik scored her second goal of the night off an assist from Andrea Plucenik, who made her 2014 debut after returning from a knee injury suffered last fall playing for the University of Connecticut. She was involved in a skillful give-and-go with Fisher on the sixth Mutiny goal of the night.
Fisher would feed the ball to Lee-Stewart who than assisted on Sousa's first goal of the 2014 season in the 80th minute. The Central Connecticut State University standout has returned from injury and given the team's offense a new dimension, as she did last year as the leading scorer for New England (four goals, two assists).
New England returns home on June 28 as they host the New Hampshire Phantoms at East Longmeadow High School for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Fans will be able to sign up to win a $500 travel voucher courtesy of AAA that will be given away at “AAA Night” on Saturday, July 12. The Mutiny will host intra-state rival Aztec F.C. in their regular season finale.
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