Team Defeats Long Island Rough Riders for Home Win
Holmdel, N.J. (Sunday, June 06, 2010) – The New Jersey Wildcats (1-0-1, 4 points) picked up three points today in hot temperatures at St. John Vianney High School, defeating divisional foe Long Island Rough Riders (3-3-0, 9 points) by a score of 2-0. The duo who sparked the offense today was forwards Jess Fuccello and Kylee Rossi, who each set up a goal for one another.
Possession was key in the early-going of this match, with humid conditions playing an impact on the pace of the action. Each side created its fair share of opportunities considering the circumstances, with the Wildcats getting its best chances at the midway point of the first half. Fuccello found an opening in the 22nd minute when she was able to one-touch a ball upfield to midfielder Marguerite Ferrell as she sped into the penalty area. However, the Long Island back line was able to recover from the trouble and clear the ball from danger. The New Jersey offense remained on the attack following that attempt, and midfielder Rachel Breton created a great chance in the following minute when she sent a hard shot just off frame.
The hard work of the Wildcats then paid dividends in the 28th minute, when the team made good on a play that started in the center of the field. Fuccello stole possession from the Rough Riders and sent a nicely struck volley towards Rossi on the left flank. Rossi then tapped the ball over the head of Long Island goalkeeper Becky Wachberger to gain an open shot on net, and she pounded the ball into the goal to give her team a 1-0 advantage.
The Wildcats continued to cause havoc for the Long Island defense, and it nearly grabbed a two-goal lead in the 43rd minute as a result of that effort. Rossi shook a defender on the left side of the box before sending a ball across the face of the frame. Ferrell hustled to the feed, but the ball was just a few inches away from her sliding attempt. The final minutes of the opening half then rolled off the clock, and New Jersey went into halftime with a one-goal edge.
The Rough Riders came out with a very aggressive demeanor in the second half, but Wildcat netminder Caroline Williams was on top of her game to match the Long Island effort. The best chance for the visiting side came in the 48th minute when forward Laura Greene found herself 1v1 with Williams and unloaded a powerful shot. Williams was there to make a diving save of the attempt, though, and the slate remained clean for the UPenn product.
The action swung back and forth during the remaining minutes of the second half, and it was not until the waning ticks of the clock that another ball hit the back of the net. Rossi received a feed on the right wing and pushed it across the middle of the field. She then sent a pass over to Fuccello, who was 35 yards out from the goal. With just enough space to put something on frame, Fuccello struck the ball perfectly towards her target and watched it sail over the head of Wachberger and into the back of the net.
That 2-0 line would hold as the final minutes passed, and the home side held on for the ever-important three points from its divisional rival.
The next game action for the Wildcats comes this Thursday when the team travels upstate to play the North Jersey Valkyries. The next home game comes on Thursday, June 17th, when the Wildcats host the Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues at the College of New Jersey.