North Jersey Valkyries News Release - www.njvalkyries.com
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
WAYNE, NJ - In a game that held so many Northeast Division playoff implications, the North Jersey Valkyries and New Jersey Wildcats showed why they were challenging the Long Island Rough Riders for the division title. The Valkyries earned a vital point as the game finished 1-1 and eliminated the Wildcats from the playoff picture. The result means that the Valkyries face a must-win situation against Long Island on Saturday to seal first place in the division.
The Wildcats started the game at a fierce pace, driven forward by Amber Brooks and Yael Averbuch. Only a fantastic close-range save from Valkyries goalkeeper Kate Courter kept the game scoreless inside the first five minutes. After the opening ten minutes the Valkyries started to get a hold of the game, and although the first half proved to be a tense affair, with neither side able to capitalize on the chances, the Valkyries did create two very good chances. The first coming after Brielle Buis’ free kick was palmed away by Sandiford, who was quick to gather before a leaping Alicia Tirelli could reach it, and the second when Jasmin Corniel controlled a pass, spun, and hit a half-volley just over the bar.
However just 13 minutes into the second half, Danielle Schulmann converted her one-on-one chance to give the Valkyries the lead they hoped would see them into top spot again. It was a well taken strike, and well deserved as the Valkyries had put together some sustained pressure.
The lead, however, would prove to be short lived when, following a spectacular save from Kate Courter, a Yael Averbuch corner was converted by a stunning bicycle kick from Danae O'Halloran.
The final ten minutes was end-to-end as both teams pushed on for a winner. With the Valkyries central defenders Jenn Mihock & Gabby Cuevas holding strong, the better chances fell to the Valkyries as Danielle Schulmann and Alicia Tirelli both went close. However it ended 1-1 with neither side able to find a late winner.
Coming into this encounter the Valkyries staff knew they would be in for a challenge facing the only side they have not been able to beat so far this year.
“They are a top side with some outstanding individual players,” Mark White had to say about the Wildcats. "We knew we would have to be at our very best if we were to get any kind of result today. We were extremely disciplined throughout the game. I thought defensively we were outstanding, and in the second half in particular our closing down and fast-pace breaks in the attacking third were outstanding. For any soccer fan this truly was a fantastic game, and a great advert for the W-League."
The North Jersey Valkyries would like to thank all those that were able to attend last night's game. The boost in attendance helping to create a great atmosphere for all players involved.
The Valkyries travel to Long Island this Saturday to take on the Rough Riders, knowing that only victory will be enough to see them qualify for the Conference Finals. It should prove to be a thrilling end to the 2012 campaign.
Coach White described the task facing the girls as “an opportunity to show how far we have come in three short years." White continued, "In our first season we struggled to find the quality and consistency to be competitive at this level. This season, however, the players since day one have shown a determination to do their very best on the field. This upcoming game is one that everyone is looking forward to, and one which we will give our very best."