Women's Soccer News: New York Fury vs FC Indiana
Goals from defender Kim Yokers and midfielder Allie Long was enough carry the New York Fury past FC Indiana Thursday night at Hofstra Soccer Stadium.
The New York Fury posted their seventh shutout of the season with a 2-0 win over FC Indiana at Hofstra Stadium Thursday night. And coach Paul Riley is looking for a few more.
"Three more clean sheets will probably win us a championship, so that's our goal," said Paul Riley, Head Coach.
“I thought we were okay,” said Fury head coach Paul Riley. “I thought we played some good soccer, but again, no punch.”
An impressive display of possession saw the Fury (9-3-1) hold about 85 percent of possession in the game’s first 17 minutes. Despite the effort, it was lacking that final ball to break open Indiana.
The WPSL bottom-dwellers looked quite unorganized as possession in their own half allowed the Fury decent looks at goal throughout the entire first half.
"I don’t know how we’re going to break down these good teams in the playoffs,” said Riley. “We just can’t find any rhythm and that’s disappointing.”
After missing her targets on a corner from the left, Mathias took her first corner from the right perfectly as all an unmarked Kim Yokers had to do was stick out her right foot to poke it past Saintilus to give the Fury a much deserved lead.
“It might have to be set pieces all the time for us to win,” said Riley.
Mathias’ five corners continued to cause problems as midfielder Brittany Taylor had a chance to double the lead in the 38th minute through a short corner that was dummied beautifully by Yokers. Taylor was able to send a low, hard shot toward the bottom right corner of goal, but Indiana (1-10-2) goalkeeper Geraldine Saintilus saved it well.
“I wanted to win by five,” said Riley. “But when we went into halftime up one, it was at that point that we decided to just go and get the three points.”
Saintilus was called to make a brilliant save off of a Farrelly chip midway through the second half, sprawling to her right to parry the ball out of play. The Fury recorded 11 shots and 11 corners on the evening.
Mass hysteria in front of Saintilus’ net in the 73rd minute had it feeling like it might have been Indiana’s night. A pair of headers were saved and a shot from Taylor never made its way through.
It was not until the 90th minute that the Fury would find some insurance when a short corner was played to Long who took a heavy touch to the right and sent a cross that went off the fingertips of Saintilus, off a defender and into the back of the net for an own goal.
“I thought Allie Long had a good game tonight,” said Riley. “She’s getting back to full fitness and the best were in our midfield tonight.”
The Fury defense had a few shaky moments, but was not challenged all too often as FC Indiana was only able to record one shot and one corner.
“We sat our backs up a little more in the second half,” said Riley. “If they saw a little more of the ball they might have gotten one against us.”
The Fury finishes up its regular season on Sunday as Riley is preparing for the playoffs with a trick up his sleeve.
“We’re not showing our cards on Sunday,” said Riley. “We have a top player coming on Saturday…but she’s a top, top player and a weapon. She’ll play half a game on Sunday…she’s a U.S. National player.”
New York Fury Additional Details:
The Fury already has clinched a spot in the WPSL Elite playoffs, with the final four starting next Wednesday night in Rochester.
In Thursday's win, the Fury scored early and late, getting on the board in the 17th minute, when Merritt Mathias' corner kick over the penalty area landed at the feet of Kim Yokers, and Yokers fired the ball into the lower right corner of the net.
Though the Fury peppered FC Indiana all game, forcing goalkeeper Geralda Santillis to make five saves, they didn't break the ice for a second goal until the final seconds. Allie Long’s cross sailed over Santillis and deflected off an Indiana defender and into the net for an own goal.
"A solid professional performance without too many fireworks," said Riley. "We played great possession but we didn't penetrate enough. We will have to find an attacking edge if we are to make a run in the playoffs."
Michelle Betos was in goal for the Fury, making only one save to post her seventh shutout of the season. "Another clean sheet gives Michelle and the back line some more confidence, and it is imperative we are in top form for the playoffs," Riley continued.
With the win, the Fury improve to 9-3-1, 28 points. FC Indiana falls to 1-10-2.
The New York Fury have one home game remaining, Sunday at 7:00 pm against the Chicago Red Stars at Hofstra.
Special Editorial Coverage by Joe Pantorno - Sports Editor, The Hofstra Chronicle and SoccerNationNews.