Midfielder Es Negron scored two second half goals.
Wildcats Rally for Three Unanswered Second Half Goals
The New Jersey Wildcats (5-2-2, 17 points) rallied for three consecutive goals in the second half to overcome the New York Magic (2-5-1, 7 points) on Saturday, with striker Esmeralda Negron leading the way with two scores. The Wildcats had another great effort in goal from netminder Chante Sandiford as well, with the UCLA product recording eight saves in the win.
The Magic opened up the scoring in this contest in the 22nd minute after midfielder Yuiko Inoue collected a ball in the middle of the field. She then stepped left with the ball at her feet before splitting the defense with a feed right in front of Toni Smith racing to the goal. The New York defender then took a couple touches before finding space to slot the ball under a diving Sandiford, giving her side the early advantage.
After that 1-0 count stood into halftime, the Wildcats regrouped and came out with an inspired cause in the second half. In the 53rd minute, the hosts would find an equalizer. On that scoring play, midfielder Kristen Edmonds gained possession in the center of the pitch and then dished to her left where Andrea Lopez was awaiting distribution. The Monmouth graduate then one-touched the feed before sending it to the front of the frame. Negron was the player who rewarded from the pass, and she fired the ball into the back of the net to make it even at a goal apiece.
10 minutes later, New Jersey claimed its first lead of the evening. With the ball at her feet, Edmonds shook a defender in front of her and then struck it towards the goal. Again in the perfect position to capitalize was Negron, who immediately gathered it and sent it into the back of the net. After 63 minutes of play, the Wildcats held a 2-1 edge.
New Jersey eventually solidified the win and three points in the 84th minute, making the count 3-1 following a Yael Averbuch corner kick. After the UNC Hall of Famer sent a cross into the target area on the set piece, defender Tori Leigh was the beneficiary of the distribution, heading the ball home for her first goal of the season.
New York continued to drive over the remaining minutes of play, but the Wildcats defense was more than up to the challenge and prevented any more damage. After 90 minutes were in the books, New Jersey hung a 3-1 victory on the scoreboard.
Next up for the Wildcats is a road match on Wednesday, July 11th, when the team plays the North Jersey Valkyries. The final home contest of the regular season will occur the next day with a hosting of the New Jersey Rangers at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for that game are available now and can be attained by calling 732-720-9163, and they are also available the day of the game at the gate. Individual tickets as well as team and family packages are on sale.