Sandiford, Averbuch Lead NJ Wildcats to Win

Sandiford recorded a season-high nine saves in the win.

Wildcats Defeat Long Island Rough Riders, 2-1

The New Jersey Wildcats (4-2-2, 14 points) put together a great collective team effort on Saturday evening, recording a 2-1 victory over the W-League Northeast Division leading Long Island Rough Riders (6-3-0, 18 points) at Saint John Vianney High School in Holmdel. The Wildcats offense recorded two first half goals on a pair of Andrea Lopez to Yael Averbuch goals, with goalkeeper Chante Sandiford tallying nine saves in the match.

The host Wildcats wasted no time whatsoever in claiming an early lead in the game, scoring its first notch in just the second minute of action. On that play, midfielder Amber Brooks collected possession deep on her end of the field before looking up to a ton of real estate in front of Lopez on the left flank. The UNC product then delivered a ball over the heads of the opposing midfield into that open space, where Lopez ran under it and took it to the left side of the penalty area. She then turned and sent a ball to the mouth of the goal for Averbuch, who quickly turned and booted a strike into the back of the net for the 1-0 advantage.

That same scoring duo hooked up again before halftime, registering a second goal in the 38th minute. Lopez battled a Long Island defender on the end line to earn a corner kick, and she decided to take the ensuing attempt. She then raised her hand and sent distribution to the center of the field, and Averbuch was there to settle before firing a left-footed rifle into the far netting. When the whistle was soon after blown for intermission, the home side saw itself with a two-goal edge.

The Rough Riders did make it very interesting in the waning minutes of this contest after pushing forward for the entirety of the second half. In the 83rd minute, midfielder Kaila Sciascia collected a corner kick on the right side of the penalty area. She then dealt a quick feed to defender Vaila Barsley directly in front of the goal, and she quickly one-touched a strike into the top netting before Sandiford had any time to react.

Next up for the Wildcats is a hosting of the New York Magic on Saturday, June 30th, with kickoff slated for 4:00 p.m. at Saint John Vianney High School. Tickets for all Wildcats home matches are available now and can be attained by calling 732-720-9163, and they also are available the day of the game at the gate. Individual tickets as well as team and family packages are available.

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