Fury Win Opening Game of The Season, Downing New England 5-1
Added by Steven Farkas on May 13, 2012.
Merritt Mattias scored three goals in the New York Fury's season opening win.
As the New York Fury rolled into Western Massachusetts to play the New England Mutiny, it was anybody’s guess how the game might go. It didn’t take long to find out how powerful a team Paul Riley had been able to put together, even with a one month late start on the other teams in the Elite league.
In just the 5th minute of the game, forward Merritt Mattias would score the first of her three goals after beating the offside trap to get a one on one against the New England goalie and then put the ball in the back of the net.
Just eight minutes later, Jasmyne Spencer would put in a goal at the 13 minute mark after receiving a pass from Mattias who juked the defender and put the ball nicely on Spencer’s foot for the perfect shot on goal.
But the Fury and Merritt Mattias were not done yet. Mattias put in her second goal after a mistake by the New England goal keeper, who came out strong but let Mattias around her and then the goal was as easy as it could get.
For the next seventeen minutes, the game seemed to settle down. The Mutiny defense finally found their groove and looked as though they would be able to shake off the early mistakes in the game. But, once she had scored two goals and one assist, Mattias would not be denied her hat trick. She would connect for a goal from a nice cross into the box in the 42nd minute. That put the Fury up 4-0 at the half.
After the game, Paul Riley would say of his forward line, “I was pleased with our young forward line. Both recent college graduates, Jaz Spencer and Merritt Mattias, caused tremendous problems to the Mutiny back line.”
The second half would be a much closer event than the first as the Fury and Mutiny traded a goal apiece. They Fury scored their fifth goal when Meghan Lenczyk put the ball in the goal in the 73rd minute. Just two minutes later Tiya Gallegos would score for the Mutiny in the 75th minute.
“It was a very good 45 minutes, and I think with another few weeks of hard training we will be able to put in a full 90 minutes,” said Fury head coach Paul Riley. “I think both teams will improve over the next month, and for many players, it was a valuable 90 minutes to get under their belts. When Mutiny get all their players in and Tony [coach Tony Horta] has time to work with them they will be a dangerous team.”
The Fury travel to Western New York next Saturday night to play the former WPS champions. You can bet the Flash will be ready for the game, and the Fury will be tested in what will show just how good they really are this season.
“We will get back on the training field, and now we have a starting point. We have a lot to improve and work on,” said Riley. “It was a night for Merritt to remember and she will continue to grow from every experience.”