Three weeks off really seemed to have helped Flower City 1872. Giving up over 20 goals in 3 games, while scoring only 2, is not how they wanted their inaugural season to start. With 1872 sitting on the bottom of the table, Erie Commodores came to the Rochester Community Sports Complex.
The first 20 minutes saw 1872 with easily their best play of the season. It was nice to see this team with strings of possession and chances on goal. The 18th minute almost saw two goals, one for each team. Taylor Wingerdon had been having a great game and played the ball forward for Maya Rutland and Winsom Hudson. Maya passed it past the goalkeeper at the last minute, but Hudson was ruled offsides as she put it in the net. Erie immediately took the ball down to the other side and an 18-yard shot was put off the underside of the crossbar. To me, it looked like it crossed the goal line on the bounce, however, the referees ruled that it wasn’t a goal, so it stayed tied at zero. The scoreless draw didn’t last much longer. Maya Rutland in the 25th minute took a free kick from 20 yards out and curled it around the wall, past the diving Erie keeper.
It seemed like the Erie Commodores had tied the match in the 32nd minute. Their forward drove down to the touchline, blowing past the 1872 defense. It was passed across the goal to a wide-open attacker, but she just couldn’t get a shot on it, and the keeper was able to grab it off her feet. 1872 almost went up by two goals in the 38th minute. Niyah Rosado had just been subbed in a minute before and had a pass sent to her behind the Erie defenders, but she was deemed offsides. I disagree.
With entering halftime as the leading team, that had easily been 1872’s best half of play. Aside from the final 5 minutes, where Erie turned up the pressure but were unable to put a goal in, 1872 had outplayed them for the opening 45 minutes.
While 1872 was the better team in the first half, Erie came out strongest in the second half. The first 21 minutes were all Erie, it was constant pressure and corner kicks. Thankfully, the out swinging corners were cleared away, and any shots that were taken on target went right to goalkeeper Amanda Kessler. In the 67th minute, 1872’s Wingerdon turned around the run of the game when she took it to the goalkeeper and passed it last second to Hudson for a tap-in. The two-goal lead didn’t last very long, as in the 68th minute Erie’s Rebecka Habursky took a shot from just outside the side of the 18-yard box, and while it was right on Kessler, it was just slightly too high for her, and dropped under the bar to get a goal back.
Momentum had swung back and forth between the halves, with 1872 being in charge most of the first, whilst Erie was in charge most of the second. This was until the 76th minute when the game came to a halt. Either lightning was seen or thunder heard, and the ref called a 30-minute break, where the fans cleared the stands and the players cleared the field. It was an interesting proposition to see which team this delay would favor. It would appear the break was better for Erie, but in the end it didn’t matter. The final 20 minutes with stoppage time was a relentless attack on the 1872 goal. But, they were up to it and got their first win of the season. They were the better team this afternoon. Three weeks off did this team wonders, and it was great to see them not only competitive but to come away as the winners. Everyone on the field should be proud of the turnaround they had and their effort today. If I had to pick a player for Woman of the Match, I’d say it was probably Amanda Kesler in goal, who was always in the right place, or Taylor Wingerden in the center of the field leading the attack.