In spite of the bitter cold, field conditions were tricky with players on both Bronx Ale and Harps having difficulty staying on their feet. Both teams were short: Bronx Ale had 9 to Harps’ 10, but both teams played a hard fought game.
Bronx Ale scored at the end of the first half with some nice give and go passing between Tina Cressent and Lisa DeChance. Just before the halftime whistle blew, Lisa took a shot from the right side that beat the keeper to the far post. Harps keeper continued to come up big in the second half, coming well off her line several times to disrupt break-ways.
Bronx Ale made a keeper switch midway through the second half and Kat Murphy saved a great shot from Joelle to keep Harps off the scoreboard. Once again, Elyse Hanley played a great game in the back and Jackie Jones and Lisa DeChance did well to control the middle of the field.
Harps faced the league leaders Bronx Ale in a long awaited and twice rained out match-up. Harps took charge with the numbers and wind advantage and dominated the first half. The return of Samantha Kee to Harps’ squad was a welcome one and she made an immediate impact producing attacking combinations and penetrating through balls past Bronx Ale’s defense. But it was off a set piece that Kee placed the ball just inside the far post from an expertly placed corner kick to beat keeper Jeannie Heinsohn.
Despite still being short of a full squad, Bronx Ale came out strong in the second half and made several threatening runs forcing some dramatics by Harps’ defense and Keeper Megan Hare to keep them off the board. Kee added to the tally with a shot just outside the box. Bronx Ale was relentless and were rewarded when April Wisniewski sent a corner in to Jackie Jones who skillfully turned and slotted it past the keeper to halve their deficit. Bronx Ale’s Elyse Hanley struck a rocket of a free kick sending towards goal but Hare got in the way making her the team hero with a valiant save in the final minute of the game to preserve the win for Harps.
Best for Harps: Samantha Kee, Megan Hare
Best for Bronx Ale: Elyse Hanley, Lauren Barton, Mary McEvoy, Beth Higgins
Another sunny and generous fall day played host to the Harps v Phoenix face-off. Both teams started off short of the 11 but Harps had a slight edge on numbers and came out attacking. Constant pressure on the Phoenix defense by Harps’ striker Joelle Gozlan resulted in a clumsy clearance by the keeper Jules Krause to draw a free kick just outside the 18. Aoife West stepped up for a expertly placed free that was shepherded into the net by Maria Martinez. Multiple attempts on goal came from threatening combinations between Harps newcomer Melissa Belardi and Amy Jackson as well as a rocket shot by Erin Cullen which was brilliantly guided over the bar by Krause. The half ended 1-0 to Harps.
Harps continued to be aggressive in the second half and Cullen not only demonstrated excellent defense but also initiated Harps’ attacks from the back line and positioning her for another chance at goal after settling a rebounded ball and ripping it past the keeper to give Harps a 2-0 lead. Phoenix had several counterattacks but Harps defense shut them down without consequence. One final effort by Harps was initiated when Teresa Brink headed a ball forward to the foot of Belardi who took the keeper on and slotted home the third and final goal of the match.
Best for Harps: Melissa Belardi and Erin Cullen
Harps faced a short sided Parlour FC squad on a lovely sunny morning after a two week break. With the numbers in their favor, Harps dominated possession and strung together some lovely attacking passing and solid midfield play by Jessica Bacon. Aoife West sent in a lovely ball from a corner which found the head of Joelle Gozlan for a clinical finish putting Harps ahead. PFC was able to hold off any more scoring with strong play from keeper, Susan Kistler and sweeper Jodi Andrews and were eventually at full strength. PFC’s Pearl Odu wreaked havoc beating several players, but Harps’ defense remained impenetrable ending the half in the lead.
The second half produced a more even attacking Harps and PFC. Odu drew a foul about 20 yards out and stepped up to place a spectacular free kick just under the crossbar and out of the reach of keeper Megan Hare for the equalizer. Newcomer Beth Hemminger displayed some clever runs and crosses from the flank to pressure PFC, but Harps were unable to finish. Harps made one final attacking effort in front of PFC’s net for the winner with a second dramatic diving header by Gozlan which just went wide. Both teams each walked away with a well deserved point.
Best for Harps: Jessica Bacon, Beth Hemminger
Best for PFC: Susan Kistler
A short-sided Harps had a slight numbers advantage when facing an also short sided NYC United on a breezy fall morning. Harps came out pressuring immediately. A few threats on goal were averted by United until Amy Jackson made a penetrating run down the left flank sending in a beautiful cross to Suzy Malone who made contact but was aided by a defender resulting in an own goal. Harps’ defense was solid keeping United’s threats to a minimum, especially once they were full-sided. Harps’ defender Erin Cullen won possession of a United clearance just past midfield and took a shot from about 30 yards out and with the assistance of an unpredictable bounce, notched the Harps’ second goal ending the half at 2-0.
NYC United came out feisty in the second half, but Harps’ back line stayed strong to keep them off the board. Joelle Gozlan and Tricia Reed Geraghty were a constant threat up top and the duo succeeded with Geraghty assisting Gozlan on two goals. Gozlan made another attack that was initially blocked but Geraghty rebounded for the fifth and final goal of the match.
Best for Harps: Joelle Gozlan & Tricia Reed Geraghty
Bronx Ale defeated Phoenix 2-1 with the help of newcomers Jackie Jones and Lisa DeChance who fit right in with the veterans and made an impact with possession and overlapping runs. Phoenix’s defense and keeper did well to block Bronx Ale from getting on the board. Bronx Ale’s midfield and defense were solid and disrupted much of Phoenix’s attacks in the first half, but they finally broke through on a counter attack giving Phoenix a 1-0 lead at the half.
In the second half, DeChance took a shot from the right side beating the keeper to level the score 1-1. Elyse Hanly later made an overlapping run up the left side and converted a through ball for the winner.
Harps faced McKeon’s on a cool September morning. McKeon’s started a couple players short while Harps barely fielded a full squad. Just a few minutes into the game, Laura Villa suffered an injury dropping Harps down to 10 against McKeon’s 9. It was a competitive back and forth and Harps’ keeper Megan Hare was called into action to keep McKeon’s off the board. Harps countered and Joelle Gozlan sent a pass to Suzy Malone who put one on goal but the referee disagreed and allowed the play to continue. Later in the half Malone got justice with a shot from the right side of the box that tucked in the far post. The half ended equal on players with Harps in the lead at 1-0.
The second half produced more back and forth counter attacks despite McKeon’s having a full squad while Harps were still working with 10. The solid efforts of the Harps’ defense and goalkeeper Hare kept them in the lead and an insurance goal was provided by Gozlan with the assist from new mom Tricia Reed Geraghty. Harps fought off fatigue to hold on to the shut-out win 2-0.
Best for Harps: Joelle Gozlan and Suzy Malone
Harps met the league leaders Beal Bocht on the opening fall match played on one of the hottest and most humid days of the year. Beal Bocht came out strong and feisty while Harps were initiating a few new players were just trying to find their rhythm. Once they settled down, Harps made some threatening attacks but struggled to finish. Joelle Gozlan was particularly solid in the half with her skillful maneuvers and runs on and off the ball. Without the relief of subs, Harps were struggling to maintain possession putting the defense under attack. Beal Bocht attacked down the right side and after making a few key passes midfielder Aine O’Dwyer expertly struck the ball which ended up inside the near post just out of reach of Harps’ keeper Megan Hare. The half was a welcome break for Harps ending down 0-1.
Harps got a bit of a second wind in the second half, and newcomer Kate McGrath had a fantastic left footed shot on goal stretching Beal Bocht’s keeper Liz Lips to make the save. Harps kept pressing, but fatigue gradually set in and Beal Bocht took advantage in a counter attack and Allison Williams slotted home a second insurance goal when Harps defense couldn’t get back in time. A solid performance by both squads in the season opener giving Beal Bocht the three points with a 2-0 win.
Best for Harps: Joelle Gozlan, Kate McGrath
Harps and Tigers battled on a late hot and sunny summer morning. Harps immediately started to connecting precision passes to control the tempo of the game. Attacking runs came out of the midfield to threaten Tigers’ goal. The first goal came about 8 minutes in when Dayana Gordillo fed a ball to a waiting Amber Waery who drilled it past the keeper. Harps midfielders Casey Sommers and Waery provided beautiful crosses while the defense was impenetrable with Erin Cullen at center back. Despite the large number of shots by Harps, Tigers’ defense held the score at 1-0 going into the break.
Harps continued to produce clinical passing combinations in the second half to dominate possession. Jessica Bacon demonstrated solid control and distribution for Harps, while Britt-Mari Boirgris tirelessly ran down and fought for balls to keep the offensive chances coming. In the 51st minute, Harps’ Marie Glennon tapped in a rebound off Suzy Malone’s shot to make it 2-0. Boirgris’ hardworking efforts paid off when she stripped the ball off of Tigers’ defense and taking a shot on goal which was subsequently dropped by the keeper into the net in the 64th minute. Harps never stopped challenging Tigers’ defense and were again rewarded when Cullen sent a ball to Waery for another perfect finish for bookend her goals. The final score was 4-0.
Best for Harps: Amber Waery, Jessica Bacon, Britt-Mari Boirgris
Harps faced a short sided McKeon’s with a late start on a sunny, windy morning in the Bronx. Harps started out shaky against the wind giving away possession on some sloppy passing. After settling down, Harps turned up the pressure with precision plays and Maria Martinez fed a pass to Aoife West who expertly finished for the first goal of the match. Penetrating runs up the flank by Vanessa Greene paid off just minutes later as she sent in a cross to West waiting hungrily for her second strike of the half. Despite the number disadvantage, McKeon’s kept up the good fight forcing Harps midfielders West, Greene and Suzy Malone to track back on defense. West in particular made some key defensive tackles. The half ended with Harps up 2 goals to none.
McKeon’s was just one player down in the second half, and while unable to pose a serious threat to the Harps’ goal, defended very well. Harps were not shy about shooting at goal, especially with the wind advantage, but McKeon’s Erin Dahms made some great saves stepping in from sweeper to keeper. Although McKeon’s demonstrated some great passing and were able to bring the ball close to Harps’ goal a few times but were unsuccessful getting past the strong Harps’ defense. Greene collected the ball in the midfield late in the game and taking the advice of defender Teresa Brink to shoot from about 25 yards out, sent a driving ball through a crowd of defenders to beat the goalie for the third and final goal of the match.
Best for Harps: Aoife West, Vanessa Greene