Fuccello (left) and Duncan knotted goals for the Wildcats.
Team Defeats Rangers in Home Match, 3-0
The New Jersey Wildcats (4-0-3, 14 points) remained on its hot streak to start the 2011 W-League season, defeating the New Jersey Rangers (0-5-1) by a count of 3-0 at Saint John Vianney High School on Sunday afternoon. Now unbeaten in seven matches, the Wildcats currently sit atop the Northeast Division Standings alongside the Long Island Rough Riders (4-0-2, 14 points).
The host Wildcats wasted little time in this match-up, collecting its first goal in just the third minute of the contest. On that scoring play, midfielder Esmeralda Negron received the ball in the center of the field before finding a streaking Erika Duncan on the right flank. After Negron fed her the ball, Duncan ran onto a 1v1 situation with Ranger goalkeeper Nicole Berner and quickly fired a strike into the far netting of the goal, giving the Wildcats a 1-0 advantage in the early going.
The Wildcats continued to control the pace over the first half of play, with the best opportunities for the road club being created by the speed of striker Maya Hayes. However, Wildcats netminder Caroline Williams and the back line in front of her kept the slate clean and still held that 1-0 edge when the whistle was blown for halftime.
Some key substitutions were made for the Wildcats in the second half, with goalkeeper Emma Simpkins taking over in net for Williams. The duo has spilt the 90 minutes throughout the season to some well found success, and head coach Kevin McDermott decided to stick with that tactical decision in this game. A second replacement that yielded some quick results came in the 53rd minute, when midfielder Danae O’Halloran stepped onto the pitch. In just the second minute of her shift, she received distribution on the right flank and immediately raced down an open lane in front of her. When she saw an opening, O’Halloran crossed the ball to the far side of the frame where forward Jess Fuccello placed it into the back of the net.
The final tally of this match came in stoppage time, with O’Halloran again collecting the assist. With the ball at her feet, she found Duncan speeding to the front of the frame, and the Marshall University product struck the ball for her second goal of the afternoon, hanging the final 3-0 count in favor of the Wildcats.
Next up for the Wildcats is a Saturday pairing with the New York Magic, and the team will play its final home contest of the regular season on Sunday, July 10th, when it hosts the Rough Riders at Saint John Vianney High School. Kickoff for that match is slated for 1:00 p.m.