New York Fights to a 00 Tie

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NEW YORK, NY – The New York Magic Club had a weekend to celebrate, with two wins from the U–16 boys team, a win from the U–15 girls team, and a well-played tie from the W–League team. The New York Magic’s W-League team went cleat-to-cleat against the New Jersey Wildcats on June 13. The Wildcats were ranked four seeds above the Magic, and as rain came steadily down, it made passing difficult for both sides. Despite the challenges, the Magic played a fierce game, challenging the Wildcats on offense and defending against the attack well. The Magic stayed in constant motion, reading the plays and challenging the ball.
 

NEW YORK, NY – The New York Magic Club had a weekend to celebrate, with two wins from the U–16 boys team, a win from the U–15 girls team, and a well-played tie from the W–League team.

The New York Magic’s W-League team went cleat-to-cleat against the New Jersey Wildcats on June 13. The Wildcats were ranked four seeds above the Magic, and as rain came steadily down, it made passing difficult for both sides. Despite the challenges, the Magic played a fierce game, challenging the Wildcats on offense and defending against the attack well. The Magic stayed in constant motion, reading the plays and challenging the ball.

“Today was a great effort,” said New York Magic Captain Kanae Haneishi. “We were a little more confident than we have been. We defended well, created chances, and played more as a team. New players are coming together. Our goal for the future is to finish our chances.”

Not only did the Magic play a solid all-around game, they created opportunities that tested the Wildcats’ defense. Towards the end of the first half the rain subsided, though the field was still wet. However, captain Robin McCullough found a way to use the wet field to her advantage. She sent a ball that skidded by two defenders, and landed on the feet of Noelle Meeke, a former Magic player back for her first game. Meeke dribbled towards the goal, but the defenders were up for the challenge, forcing Meeke to blast the ball just wide of the net.

The Magic continued to penetrate. McCullough’s ability to control the ball left the defenders with no choice but to foul her in the middle of the field. This foul led to a free kick, giving fullback Courtney Lane a chance to whip out her wicked left foot. The ball sailed onto the head of Diane Hare, who flicked it back to Nicole Doran for a dangerous header near the net. The Wildcats’ goalie met the challenge by tapping Doran’s header to the side. Not long afterwards, the ref’s whistle blew, ending the first half scoreless.

The Magic kept up their energy at the beginning of the second half, however, the Wildcats had energy of their own. Both teams traded challenges. The Wildcats made runs and combined passes to get open for a shot on goal, but the Magic defense held off the passes. Led by Emma Howes and Brittany Saissein, the Magic defense ran down the Wildcats’ offense, making it difficult for them to get a good shot. In the few instances when the Wildcats were able to get a decent shot off, Magic goalkeeper Alicia DeFino made quick saves, putting the ball in safe possession of the Magic.

Not only did the Magic defense hold off the attack of the Wildcats, they also cleared the ball out, allowing their offense to generate an attack of their own. In the 56th minute, Diane Hare sent a precise ball to Courtney McMahon, who blasted up the field. McMahon then fed the ball to Amanda Santos, who fired a bullet just wide. Captain Kanae Haneishi read the play beautifully, and fought for the ball to draw a corner kick. McCullough took the corner, setting up Meeke for a good shot on goal. Unfortunately, the goalkeeper stopped Meeke’s good shot.

“We put a lot of effort into today’s game,” said Magic Head Coach Nino DePasquali. “We have to remember that two years ago the Wildcats won the [North American Finals]. We have got good legs, and we hustled. We are starting to come together as a team.”

It appears as if the Magic responded to the challenges of playing a team that is ranked higher in the standings. They tied this game, but they are hoping to come together and do better in the future.