Simpkins and Williams combined for the Wildcats shutout.
Wildcats Remain Atop Northeast Division Standings
The New Jersey Wildcats (3-0-2, 10 points) are now halfway through the 2011 regular season slate, and the team remains unbeaten and sitting atop the Northeast Division of the USL W-League. Its fifth match of the year was officially put into the books on Thursday night at The College of New Jersey, with the Wildcats and North Jersey Valkyries (1-0-2, 5 points) playing to a scoreless draw.
The Wildcats had two goalkeepers combine for the shutout, the second blank slate of the season for the team, with Caroline Williams and Emmy Simpkins keeping the Valkyries out of the net. Williams had three saves in the first half of this game, while Simpkins added another one to the stat sheet during the second half of play.
Williams was tested early in this affair, with North Jersey forward Danielle Schulmann showing some crafty footwork to create space on the left side of the frame. As soon as she saw her opening, Schulmann fired a hard shot towards the goal, but Williams was there to make a brilliant diving save of the attempt. Another shot was then nearly put on frame before the ball was cleared, but it sailed wide of the goal.
Throughout the opening half, the Valkyries looked to time runs by setting up forwards with long ball distributions, but the back line of the Wildcats did a nice job of recovering when those plays were attempted. New Jersey also did a nice job of creating on the other end of the field, with midfielders Kylee Rossi, Rachel Breton and Angela DeSumma finding some creases to send a few dangerous balls forward.
The second half of this game saw similar tactics from each side, but both defenses and goalkeepers put forth the same amount of effort that was on display in the first 45 minutes of the contest. Simpkins was very solid in net for the Wildcats once she was inserted into the lineup at halftime, and she was able to do her part in providing her club with the shutout. The entire Wildcats side continued to fight until the final whistle was blown, but the team would have to settle for one point when everything was said and done.
The Wildcats return to action next Thursday, June 23rd, when it travels to Long Island to play a road affair with the Rough Riders. The team then plays its next home contest on Sunday, June 26th, when it hosts the New Jersey Rangers at Saint John Vianney High School at 1:00 p.m.