Toledo Villa FC Men and Women both opened their home accounts with a hard-earned point on Sunday May 21st at Cats Stadium at Sylvania Northview High School. Both matches ended with a final score of 2-2, as the men picked up their first point in the Premier League of America and the Women remain unbeaten in United Women’s Soccer league.
The women suffered from a case of early-game jitters and conceded in just the 6th minute going down 0-1 on a Maddie Hughes strike. The Ladies in Red would soon gain their composure and responded with a strong attack down the flank where Marissa Swindell put in a solid cross which was dispatched neatly by Skylar Fleak to even up the contest. Strong goalkeeping from Villa’s Sam Tiongson and Legends Jennifer Steinaway kept the game to a score much lower than it could have been, but Villa found the next breakthrough taking the lead by way of a towering header by Fleak, her third of the season. Tragedy struck for Villa in the 80th minute when a Legends player was brought down in the box for a penalty kick, and while Tiongson made a great save on the first attempt, the rebound was tucked home by Megan Trapp to knot things back up. In a final flourish, Villa’s Ivi Casagrande and Josie Fowler each had shots carom off the crossbar but were unable to find the back of the net. Just over 300 were on hand to witness the Villa Women take home their first home point including members of the Anthony Wayne United Soccer Club. Thanks to her spectacular performance between the posts, including an heroic one-on-one save near the end of the match to preserve the point, keeper Sam Tiongson earns player-of-the-game honors.
The script for the Men’s game was almost the exact opposite of the Women’s. The Villa lads started off incredibly strong with Shariff forcing a strong save from the Muskegon keeper Carter Selvias within minutes of kickoff. And just 12 minutes of the game, Jeff Kelly-Rosales opened the scoring for himself and Villa when he tucked home a cross from Abdullah Multawfiq. The pressure continued throughout much of the first half for Villa, but the visitors put together a well-worked counter attack which ended with a headed goal by Michael Mayberry. In front of a crowd of 274, the Villa Men looked to continue what they started in the first half by drawing a penalty straight from the kickoff, but were unable to convert from the spot. There were chances for both teams throughout the second half, but they had to wait until stoppage time to decide the match. In the 91st minute, Junior Kazeem poked home the rebound of a dubiously earned free kick to put Risers in front 2-1. Not even two more minutes passed when Brad Macomber was taken down inside the Risers box to earn Villa their second PK of the game. This time, player-coach Ryan McDonald stepped to the spot. With all the pressure on his shoulders, McDonald calmly slotted the spot kick into the bottom corner and the match finished all square at two apiece. For his tireless effort, full 90-minute shift, and his earning of the game tying penalty, Brad Macomber earns himself the player of the match award for this week.
The Villa front office would like to say thank you to all the fans and sponsors who helped make our home opener such a fantastic event. We cannot express how crucial your continued support is in making these teams what they are. As our motto states “It takes a VILLAge,” and we can’t think of a place we would rather be. We look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces and hearing your cheering voices for our next home double header on May 27th starting at 5:00PM.