June 20, 2012
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. – The Virginia Beach Piranhas W-League hosted the Northern Virginia Majestics on Wednesday night at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex with a kickoff time of 7:00 p.m.
In a highly contested match, neither team would back down both battling for an inch of leeway to score a goal against the other side’s strong defensive stance. That opening finally came in the 65th minute when Taylor Mertz was able to find the net with an assist from Emily Kittleson. The Piranhas dominated the night with 16 shots on goal, only 3 attempted by Northern Virginia.
The Piranhas were held scoreless for only the second time this season during Saturday’s 0-0 tie versus the Fredericksburg Impact. Now, with only four games remaining in the 2012 season, the Piranhas will need as many points as possible to make a push for postseason play.
Wednesday’s matchup with Northern Virginia (0-5-0) was a re-match of a June 1st meeting between the two sides. The Piranhas (3-2-2) shut out the Majestics in that game behind Rasheeda Ansari’s two goals. Ansari, who leads the Piranhas with 10 points and is also tied for 10th overall in the W-League, missed Saturday’s match with the Impact and last night’s match-up with Northern Virginia.
Without her, the Piranhas relied on a fierce, balanced squad ready to defend home turf. The team is anchored by the strong play of goalkeeper Marbel Egwuenu and high scorer Esther Anyanwu, who has 9 points on the season and is tied for 16th overall in the W-League. Anyanwu is also the W-League’s top shot leader with 28 shots through 8 games. Her size and speed has proven troublesome for opponents; an advantage the Piranhas capitalized on versus Northern Virginia. Though the team failed to score in the last game, The Piranhas outshot the Impact, and Anyanwu was thought to have scored in the second half only to have the goal disallowed due to an offside call.
Northern Virginia entered Wednesday’s game win-less on the season, having only scored two goals in five games. The Majestics fell victim to D.C. United Women on Saturday with a final score of 5-1. Similar to their previous match, Northern Virginia gave up three goals in a nine-minute time span.
However, the Virginia Beach Piranhas currently trail first place D.C. United Women by seven points in the Atlantic Division. While the two squads will meet twice more this season, the Piranhas obtained the win against Northern Virginia last night to keep their playoff hopes alive. The W-League recently honored D.C. United Women forward Mikaela Howell, who currently sits second in the league in goals (7) and points (19) and leads the league in assists (5). She recorded her first W-League hat-trick in D.C. United’s victory against Northern Virginia. However, honorable mention honors were given to Piranhas Taylor Mertz, Rasheeda Ansari and Victoria Johnson.
Wednesday’s match-up marked the end of a three game home stand for Virginia Beach. The Piranhas play their next three games on the road before returning to the Sportsplex for the season finale July 14th.
The Piranhas will take to the road for an epic battle of skill and agility against D.C. United Women this weekend for a Saturday night match at the Maryland SoccerPlex, a kickoff time set for 7:00 p.m.
Virginia Beach Piranhas
Virginia Beach: Taylor Mertz 65 (Kittleson)
Virginia Beach: Marbel Egwuenu, Cheyenne Martinez-Trevino, Victoria Johnson, Melanie Adams, Odishika Chukwuji (Wombwell 84), Jamie Clarke (Garrett 74) , Taylor Mertz, Megan Mossman, Amanda Fenton (Hauck 45), Emily Kittleson, Esther Anyanwu (Bunter 45)
Northern VA Majestics: Emma Kruse, Aly Gazarek, Kara Nay, Alyson Gregorowicz, Mackenzie King, Amanda Olson, Alexandria Reed, Ashley Pfaff (Lindberry 61), Lindsey Ottavio, Janice Johnson (Bender 86), Sonia Basma
Shots: VB 16, NVM 3; Saves: VB 0, NVM 8; Fouls: VB 7, NVM 5; Offsides: VB 3, NVM 2; Corners: VB 1, NVM 1;Cautions: Virginia Beach (Bunter 90); Ejections: None; Officials:
Matthew Franz, Emily Grove, Matthew Goff; Attendance: 334 ; Weather: Clear, Hot.