Erica Murphy Hat Trick Leads NY Surf Past Long Island Rough Riders, 3-2
New York Surf Soccer Club (6-2-2, 20 points) returned to United Women’s Soccer (UWS) action on Saturday, making an emphatic postseason push with a 3-2 seesaw win over the Long Island Rough Riders (5-2-1, 16 points) at Reinhart Field. Leading the way for NY Surf was forward Erica Murphy, who recorded a hat trick in the match-up.
Long Island opened the scoring in this contest, putting away the lone goal of the first half in the 25th minute. On that sequence, Christina Bellero sent a cross into the box from the right flank, where Erica Modina finished to make it 1-0, a count that stood until the intermission.
NY Surf eventually equalized in the 47th minute. After receiving a throw-in, Rachel Corboz split two defenders in the midfield before laying off a ball for Catrina Atanda on her left. Atanda then pinged a quick one-two with Corboz before she centered for Murphy in front of the goal. The initial strike from Murphy was saved by Rough Riders netminder Melissa Guglielmo, but Murphy was there to collect the rebound and calmly put it away.
In the 67th minute, NY Surf gained the lead for the first time of the afternoon. After Furtuna Velaj dispossessed a defender, Corboz raced onto the ball and took off towards the final third. She then danced around a couple of defenders before sending a through-ball to Murphy, who quickly turned on a well-placed shot that made the tally 2-1 in favor of the hosts.
Long Island eventually leveled this contest in the 77th minute, as Kimberley Marra chipped a well-placed delivery to Morgan Santoro as she sped into the penalty area. Before NY Surf goalkeeper Colleen Hickey had the chance to truly react, Santoro one-timed a strike past her to even the tally at two scores apiece.
Knowing the importance of three points to their postseason aspirations, NY Surf turned up the heat over the final minutes until they found the game-winning goal in the 87th minute. On that play, Corboz sent a ball to Kelly Conheeney on the right flank, where she curled a feed around a defender and onto the feet of a racing Murphy. After collecting it, Murphy hammered a hard strike into the upper right 90 to secure an ever-important win and three points for NY Surf.
Currently ranked number two on a significant UWS East Conference Power Rankings poll, NY Surf finds itself as a prime candidate for the UWS postseason wildcard. Long Island does have two matches remaining on their 2017 regular season schedule, but the Rough Riders would need to win them both to jump NY Surf in the standings. In their first year in UWS, NY Surf has rattled off six wins and two draws. Their only two defeats have come in the second match of back-to-back weekends, where grueling travel schedules to Pennsylvania and Massachusetts had them playing on heavy legs.
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