Harps SC were handed a walkover by NYC United who was a no-show.
The long anticipated spring weather was more than a welcome setting for the Harps v Beal Bocht match-up. Despite the frantic play, Harps had some threatening attacks but the Beal Bocht goalkeeper Alyssa Bachowski did well to protect her net. Possession was fairly equal between the two sides and with end to end excitement over the first half. The game changed in the last five minutes of the half when Beal Bocht’s Ana Patedjl popped the ball just over the Harps’ keeper Megan Hare where it trickled into the net.
The second half was more of the same attacks and counter attacks from both teams. Beal Bocht pressured the defense who remained solid and forced a few saves by Hare who did well to prevent any further scoring. Harps had their own efforts on goal at the other end but were unsuccessful in converting leaving the score 1-0 with Beal Bocht capturing the three points.
Best for Harps: Erin Cullen, Anastasia Hagan and Vanessa Greene
A short side Parlour FC faced Harps on a sunny spring morning. With a three player advantage, Harps started strong and convincing. Just three minutes in an initial save on Suzy Malone’s attempt at goal was slotted home by a persistent Joelle Gozlan for the first goal of the match. Harps dominated the rest of the half as PFC gradually added players and were at full strength before the half. Credit to PFC for holding Harps to just one goal going into the break.
The second half saw PFC’s offense spark up. However, the green and white were no match for the powerful Harps who continued to control the play in the second half and precision ball movement by the midfield made it easy work for their own defense. Harps’ second goal resulted when pressure by Malone ended in PFC own goal. Ten minutes later, Malone converted off a throw-in from Samantha Kee to get on the scoreboard. The goal of the game came when Vanessa Greene fed a lovely ball to Casey Sommers on the left wing who sent a bullet of a shot from about 20 yards out into the far upper corner of the net giving the keeper no chance. Aoife West notched one by capitalizing on a defensive mistake by PFC’s keeper making it 5-0. The final goal of the came from Gozlan who cooly tapped in a cross from Kee for her bookend goal. PFC welcomed back Susan Kistler who despite the score had a great game in goal. Robin Grunder and Liz Eles worked remarkably hard the entire game.
Best for Harps: Joelle Gozlan, Suzy Malone and Casey Sommers
Harps faced double 2013 champions Bronx Ale for the first match of the 2014 season on a cool and windy spring day on a soggy pitch. Harps started strong and confident with the wind advantage to put immediate pressure on their opponent. Samantha Kee produced threatening runs up the right flank for Harps while Suzy Malone and newcomer Casey Sommers held the midfield. Bronx Ale had a few chances that were thwarted by the solid efforts of Harps’ defense. The half arrived without any goals awarded.
Bronx Ale came out charging in the second half. Expert ball control and precision passing produced several attempts at goal. But it was a mistake by Harps’ defender Teresa Brink who gave the ball away off a goal kick just outside the 18 yard line that resulted in a goal by Andrea Arnone for Bronx Ale. Harps came back strong and attacking, and great combinations between Aoife West, Suzy Malone and Sommers put pressure on Bronx Ale’s defense, but without reward. The Bronx Ale counter attacks were quick and furious with the wind advantage, and another defensive breakdown resulted in Tina Cressent slotting home Bronx Ale’s second goal of the match. Harps continued the fight with West and Kee tracking back to help the defense and keeper Megan Hare coming up with a couple great saves, but they were unable to get back into the game. The final goal was a final gift by the Harps’ defense when Hare rolled a ball to Jennifer Terranova who was stripped by Amanda White at the edge of the 18 who took advantage with a quick finish. Final score 3-0 to the defending league champions.
Best for Harps: Aoife West, Samantha Kee
McKeon’s fielded just the minimum 7 players against Harps. A skilled side, they just didn’t have the numbers to battle Harps and went down quickly with an Aoife West to Jess Bacon goal for the opener. Shortly after, Bacon fed Samantha Kee a ball for the first goal of her first-half hattrick. Erin Cullen assisted West and Kee’s final 2 goals closed the half at 5-0 to the Harps.
Harps focused on passing and possession in the second half. Despite the scoreline and the number disadvantage, McKeon’s never let up or lost interest and produced some threatening attacks but were unable to capitalize on their chances. Harps added to the tally with goals by Tricia Reed, Sharee Goodson and Teresa Brink the latter two defenders pushed forward stepping out of their comfort zone. McKeon’s put in a truly tremendous performance who at full numbers would have been a force to reckon with. Final score 8-0.
Harps Goals (and assists):
1. 04 Jess (Aoife)
2. 13 Sam (Jess)
3. 15 Aoife (Erin)
4. 23 Sam (Teresa)
5. 47 Sam (Anastasia)
6. 55 Tricia (Jess)
7. 57 Sharee (Teresa)
8. 66 Teresa (unassisted)
Harps kicked off to a first place and short-sided Parlour FC. Harps controlled the first ten minutes of the game with clever passing and solid possession. PFC was soon at full strength and applied pressure with quality ball control and lightning speed. Harps’ newcomer Amy Jackson and Vanessa Greene made penetrating runs up the flanks, while Lili Siegelson was unlucky not to finish a couple of crosses in. Amber Waery easily stepped into multiple positions on the field proving her versatility and value to Harps. PFC’s Fatou Dibba and Pearl Odu were strong on the offensive end; while Debbie Niemes (in her first game), Robin Grunder, Karen Lindsay and Lucille Charles played solid defensively. Congestion in the central midfield on both ends thwarted many chances from both sides and the half ended goalless.
The second half produced more end to end excitement demonstrating the hunger both sides had to earn the points. The first goal came on a pass from Green to Aoife West who saw PFC keeper Miss Gregory off her line and skillfully dropped it right behind her into the back of the net. The goal seemed to light a fire in PFC and they came out strong on the attack pressuring Harps’ defense. PFC earned a corner kick taken by the ever threatening Rosa Alba Perez resulting in a scramble in the six yard box and after some sloppy defending PFC was on the board when Charlene Mc Ateer was able to capitalize with her first goal of the season. Harps answered back when the tireless Suzy Malone fed a ball to Jackson who sent a ball in that looked like a cross from the left corner and found its way into the far side netting, giving her a debut goal. With this renewed confidence, Harps sealed the deal with another assist by Malone to Siegelson to poke in the third and final goal. PFC showed no letup but was unable to counter. Harps take the three points with a final score of 3-1.
Best for Harps: Amy Jackson, Lili Siegelson and Amber Waery
Best for PFC: Pearl Odu and Robin Grunder
Harps and Beal Bocht scrambled to put together 11 players each before the whistle on an overcast and damp day . Beal Bocht came out storming towards the Harps’ goal and had Harps on the back foot for much of the first half. Harps struggled to maintain possession for any length of time while their opponents had impressive first touches while passing and dribbling with ease. Most of the action played out in Harps’ defensive third, despite Beal Bocht going down an injured player. A misstep on the Harps’ defense in response to a Beal Bocht attack turned into a melee in the box and a well deserved goal, if not a pretty one. Beal Bocht created several threatening shots that went wide before Harps started putting some attacking plays together just before ending the half at 1-0.
In the second half, Beal Bocht was back up to full numbers and Harps came out a different team maintaining a much more balanced share of possession. Several Harps’ attempts on goal were unsuccessful including great efforts by the versatile Ruth Moskowitz and the speedy yet tireless Marie Glennon who on one occasion forced a save by Beal Bocht’s keeper to preserve the lead. Harps’ Vanessa Greene made countless runs up and down the right flank sending over impressive crosses begging for someone to finish while at the other end Jennifer Terranova was solid in Harps’ goal. Harps had an admirable comeback in the second half, but it was just too little, too late and Beal Bocht took home the three points.
Best for Harps: Ruth Moskowitz, Marie Glennon, Jen Terranova
Both Harps and Bronx Ale struggled to put players on the field but Harps was up to full strength shortly after the whistle. It was a feisty start with Harps stringing together some precision passing and threatening the goal. Bronx Ale countered with their own attacks challenging the Harps’ defense and in a very tense moment forcing Anastasia Hagen to make a superb header clearing the ball off the goal line to deny Bronx Ale. Tina Cressent snuck behind Harps’ defense on the right flank more than once resulting in heroic tackles by Hagen and Erin Cullen. Samantha Kee and Vanessa Greene tirelessly ran the midfield flanks for Harps but were unlucky not to be rewarded. Impressive defensive efforts by both teams brought the half to a close at nil all.
The second half produced more of the same end-to-end excitement with great ball movement by both teams. Bronx Ale’s Andrea Arnone was a presence at sweeper while Elyse Hanly was a constant menace in the midfield. The crossbar played its part getting in the way more than once in defense for each side and one of the several strikes by Harps’ stopper Cullen forced keeper Jeannie Heinsohn into an acrobatic split for a fearless save in the final minutes of the game. It was a hard fought point earned for each team ending in a 0-0 draw, a particularly valiant effort by Bronx Ale playing short the entire match.
Best for Harps: Anastasia Hagan, Erin Cullen
Tigers started a couple players down against a full-strength Harps side on an overcast and cool morning. Harps came out strong and used their number advantage to easily hold possession. Penetrating Harps’ runs down the flanks proved threatening, but it was a scramble in the box when Suzy Malone laid a ball off to Jessica Bacon who slipped it past the keeper to put Harps up 1-0. Harps’ Samantha Kee was effective as usual striking a ball from an Erin Cullen corner for a two goal Harps’ lead. Tigers’ goalkeeper, Jen Trowbridge made some phenomenal saves and was assisted on defense with gritty play by Sidney Small, Brandy Peltz, and Diane Sit to prevent any further scoring in the half.
Still playing short, Tigers came out with renewed energy in the second half and forward Kara Coughlin made several runs with the ball, but Tigers were unable to convert. Tigers continued their solid efforts at defense but they were unsuccessful at preventing a Ruth Moskowitz assist for a Kee finish resulting in a three goal Harps’ advantage. Bacon and Marie Glennon both had several chances forcing more spectacular Towbridge saves. Harps’ increased their lead when a ball popped out off a corner to stopper Moskowitz who cracked it from 20 yards out giving the keeper no chance at the save. The final tally was a Bacon to Malone combination solidifying the Harps win at 5-0.
Best for Harps: Samantha Kee, Suzy Malone, Jessica Bacon
NYC United started down 2 players and without a trained goalkeeper to face a full strength Harps squad. Harps’ Samantha Kee immediately started to make up for her previous absence from the team by sending in a perfect cross to a well-positioned Britt Boigris who guided the ball into the back of the net to put Harps up in the first few minutes of the game. United made some counter attacks, but were shut down by the impenetrable defense. Bianca Fernandez was brave enough to step inside the uprights and made several impressive saves for United. Then Harps’ Suzy Malone gave a ball to Kee for the second goal of the match and Kee returned the favor by feeding Malone an assist to put Harps up 3-0. A third Kee to Malone combination increased the gap to 4-0 going into the break.
In the second half, United produced a 10th player, Leeann Cartabona, who helped curb Harps’ scoring momentum holding them to just two in the second half. However Harps wasn’t finished just yet as Kee had her final assist to Erin Cullen who executed a classic finish. The insurmountable score wasn’t enough to discourage United as they continued to make penetrating runs down the flanks forcing Harps defense to remain on guard, and standing up to the task. Harps held possession and played like a team that has been together for years. In the last five minutes United produced 3 shots on Harps’ goal, bravely continued their to fight, but it just wasn’t enough. It was a phenomenally productive effort for Kee whose final tally on the scoreboard was the 6th and final goal as well as the fourth successful partnership with Malone to finish the score at 6-0.
United have become resolute to not be short in future games, and will make these much more competitive!
Best for Harps: Samantha Kee and Suzy Malone