|Striker Chris Tsonis battles a NYAC defender.|
|Emma Clark scored today’s game winning goal vs. Albany.|
PORTSMOUTH, NH - A rainy day on the New Hampshire seacoast didn’t keep the fans away from the Seacoast United Phantoms tripleheader this afternoon. The three Phantoms teams earned a collective 7 points today with two victories by the PDL and WPSL teams with scores of 4-2 and 2-1 respectively, and a 0-0 tie for the NPSL side.
Seacoast United Phantoms vs. NY Athletic Club (NPSL)
In the first game, the men’s NPSL squad took on visiting NY Athletic Club who entered today’s match having played only one game so far this season. The majority of the first half took place in the middle 1/3 of the field, with both teams playing similar styles. “The teams were so evenly matched, neither team had any real chances,” said head coach Iain Scott. Scott advised his boys to look for just that one opportunity, which nearly came at the 90th minute when the Phantoms broke in on a 4 on 3, crossing the ball from left to right finding Colin Smith just right of the penalty spot. Smith’s shot was put on target, but the NYAC keeper made a phenomenal save to keep the game scoreless.
Scott noted the outstanding effort of center midfielder Caleb Paterson, “Very energetic, best I’ve seen him play.” Ryan Dunn was also mentioned for his stellar play at the back.
Seacoast United Phantoms vs. Albany Alleycats (WPSL)
In the 2:30pm game, the women kicked off under drizzly skies in a WPSL division matchup with the Albany Alleycats . The first half didn’t result in many quality chances for either side, however the Phantoms broke through first and took a 1-0 lead into halftime on a late goal. In added time, a cross was sent in from the left for a free header by striker Kelley Griffin.
Albany looked to even the score in the 52nd minute on a header to the upper left corner, only to be called back due to an offside player. In another scary moment for the Phantoms, Albany’s Rachel Shushner broke in on a 1v1 from the right, Phantom goalkeeper Taylor Booth made the initial save but gave up a high rebound that was then headed over the crossbar. Griffin had another quality chance in the 2nd half, beating a defender in the 68th minute and hitting the crossbar on a rising blast. Emma Clark put the Phantoms up 2-0 in the 76th minute on a corner from the right hand side, unassisted.
In the 83rd minute, Albany closed the margin to 1 goal when Marin McDermont drove a shot to the upper 90 from the top of the box. McDermont nearly struck again in the 84th on a shot wide to the left. The Phantoms looked to regain the 2-goal advantage in the 89th minute on a combo play between Kaitlyn Hinck to Griffin, but her shot just missed the far post. The Phantoms tightened up defensively and earned their first win of the season with the 2-1 victory.
|Midfielder Steve Palumbo played a role in two of the Phantoms’ goals in today’s win over Ottawa.|
Seacoast United Phantoms vs. Ottawa Fury (PDL)
In the final match of the day, the Phantoms PDL squad faced visiting Ottawa Fury. This was the first meeting between the two teams of the 2011 season. Ottawa came out fast and had a 1v1 opportunity squandered by Phantoms goalkeeper Jon Dawson in the opening minute. From that point on, play stayed between the boxes until Eric Masi struck in the 23rd minute for his 2nd goal of the season on a ball placed low to the left side. Ten minutes later, the Phantoms took a 2-0 lead when Steven Palumbo dribbled the ball deep into the Ottawa 6-yd box before playing it across the goal mouth & scoring off a deflection.
Play had been back and forth through the midfield in the early part of the 2nd half until the 60th minute, when Ottawa’s Joey Kewin scored to tighten the gap at 2-1. With Ottawa continuing to pressure from that point, an unlucky deflection from Fury striker Adam Hintz’s shot evened the score at 2-2 in the 72nd minute.
However, the Phantoms were not finished. A free kick from 25 yds out set up Dylan George to regain the lead at 3-2 in the 81st minute. Two minutes later, Brad Hilton whipped in a ball from the right side to Palumbo who hit a full volley into the far side netting, sealing the 4-2 win.
“I’m very proud of how the boys played today, they showed great character to come back after Ottawa equalized at 2-2," said Phantoms head coach Iain Scott. Watch the video highlights here. The win is the Phantoms’ first on the season and gave the team a much needed boost after struggling to score goals in their recent matches.
The Phantoms next home game is Wednesday June 15th vs. NY Red Bull at Portsmouth High School, kickoff is at 6pm. Full schedule and season information can be found at www.seacoastunited.org/phantoms.