Late Connecticut Goal Gives Passion Tight 2-1 Victory
The fans of the Wildcats were very supportive this season
West Windsor, N.J. (Sunday, July 19, 2009) – In a battle between two talented W-League clubs, the New Jersey Wildcats and Connecticut Passion gritted out inspired efforts tonight in their 2009 season finale. Less than a day after they both last took the field, Connecticut squeezed out a narrow 2-1 win after a balanced 90 minutes of soccer were played on the pitch at Mercer County Community College.
“It is disappointing to lose today, but we knew coming into the match that Connecticut is a very good team,” Wildcats head coach Dave Barbour commented. “Our girls gave a full effort, and you can’t ask for more than that. I thought they were a bit more fortunate than us, but sometimes that is how the game is played.”
The legs of both teams were a bit heavy when this match started, but both sides fought through their exhaustion to provide the hometown Wildcat fans with a very entertaining game.
The Passion hung the first score of this match-up in the 12th minute when forward Kerry Scalora put a ball just off the fingertips of a diving Robyn Jones in the New Jersey goal, gaining an early 1-0 advantage. With the momentum turning towards Connecticut, the Wildcats fought to regain their stride and came up just short on a pair of through-ball opportunities in the 18th minute. They would eventually get their equalizer in the 32nd minute after striker Kristin Hextall weaved her way through the Passion defense and dished a feed over to midfielder Marguerite Ferrell. The Fairleigh Dickinson product then launched a bomb towards her target and placed the attempt in the right upper 90 to even the count at a notch each.
The second half of action seemed to be going in the favor of New Jersey in the early-going, and Hextall nearly put her club on top when a well-struck chip hit just off the top of the crossbar. Ferrell got a lot of things going in the Wildcat attack throughout the half, but New Jersey would come up unlucky on those chances. In the 77th minute of the contest, Connecticut got their game-winner when a ball slipped into the Wildcats backfield and Passion forward Linda Velaj was in the right place to push the ball past the end line.
While disappointment was somewhat prevalent on the faces of the New Jersey players after their inspired play came up just short today, there is no denying the fact that this is a Wildcat franchise that is headed in a positive direction.
“The success of this organization all starts with (President) Kevin McDermott and (Vice President) Jim Gooley,” Barbour remarked. “Their leadership and experience has everything rolling in the right direction, and our coaching staff in addition to the commitment of our players has played a huge role as well. Soccer at this level seems to have been reestablished in this area, and it’s great to see that the Wildcat fans and supporters are excited about soccer in Central Jersey again.”
As the Wildcats season comes to a close, the team extends their unending gratitude to those that continue to support the franchise. Plans are already in the works for a season-long celebration next year in observance of the 15th season of play for the Wildcats, and all updates with the team will be announced through www.njwildcats.com throughout the upcoming offseason.