Face D.C. United, Fredericksburg with playoffs on the line
Virginia Beach Piranhas News Release - www.vbpiranhas.com
Friday, July 13, 2012
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – Last Saturday night, the Virginia Beach Piranhas rallied past the Northern Virginia Majestics on the road at Hellwig Park, scoring two goals in the 78th and 83rd minute, ending the in-state grudge match in a 2-1 victory. The Piranhas now sit in second place in the Atlantic Division and face two crucial games this weekend as they make a final push for the playoffs.
As heat index continued to climb throughout the day, the two longtime division rivals met for the first time this season, it was Northern Virginia that set the early lead.
Following a quick transition, Northern Virginia midfielder Elise Bender glanced up to find teammate Ashley Pfaff isolated near the top of the Virginia Beach defensive third. Bender’s feed sent Pfaff racing through towards the Piranhas net with only keeper Victoria Johnson to beat. As Johnson slid through the play to block the shot, Pfaff deftly touched the ball to her opposite foot and slid it home from thirty yards out for the early 1-0 Majestics lead in the 13th minute.
The Majestics held the lead for more than an hour, but fell victim to two goals in five minutes from Piranhas midfielder Taylor Mertz. Mertz’s first goal came from the left side of the goal mouth on a pass from Esther Anyanwu. Mertz followed it up five minutes later on a feed from Emily Kittleson, also struck cleanly home from the left side of the box to earn the Piranhas the 2-1 victory.
The Piranhas, in second place in the Atlantic Division, were set to continue their winning streak against Fredericksburg Impact on Sunday. However, the game was postponed due to inclement weather.
This sets up a thrilling weekend for the Piranhas as they play two games holding major playoff implications. After hosting Eastern Conference champion D.C. United at home on Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET, Virginia Beach will travel to finish the regular season against Fredericksburg on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET.
The Impact sit just one point behind the Piranhas in the Atlantic Division with both teams having to play two games... one being head-to-head.
As the Eastern Conference No. 1 seed, D.C. United Women will play in the second game of the Eastern Conference Championship semifinal round on Saturday, July 21 at 6 p.m. ET, as they face the conference’s No. 4 seed, which will be either the Virginia Beach Piranhas or Fredericksburg Impact.
D.C. United Women clinched the top spot in the tournament by defeating the Dayton Dutch Lions 4-1 on Saturday night and improving to 10¬0-1 on the season.
The 2012 W-League Eastern Conference Championship is coming to the Maryland SoccerPlex the weekend of July 21-22, as D.C. United were officially awarded the hosting bid by the league. The two-day event will consist of a semifinal round of games on Saturday, July 21 and a single final game on Sunday, July 22.
The opening game in Saturday’s doubleheader will take place at 3:30 p.m. ET between the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, both of which have yet to be determined. The No.2 seed will be determined this weekend as the 2011 W-League Champion Atlanta Silverbacks and Charlotte Eagles meet on Saturday evening for the Southeast Division crown. The No.3 seed will also be decided this weekend as the Long Island Rough Riders, North Jersey Valkyries and New Jersey Wildcats battle for the Northeast Division title.
The Eastern Conference Championship Final will be played on Sunday, July 22 at 4 p.m., at the 4,000 capacity Maryland SoccerPlex stadium. Saturday’s semifinal winners will compete for the honor of representing the Eastern Conference in the W-League Championship, which begin in Ottawa, Ontario on July 27.