Saturday June 10th was a hectic day for Toledo Villa as the men and women both played, the women at home and men away. The day started with a trip to Delaware, Ohio for the mens team who played the Under 23 youth side of Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University. Even with an 11AM kickoff it was a hot morning and apart from a water break, the first half was uneventful. Both teams were searching for an identity on the pitch with a great deal of play being in the middle third of the field. Starting keeper Billy Spink was forced into a strong save early on, but Villa had chances of their own on the backs of Biggs and Shariff. The physical play continued throughout the first half but when the whistle blew the score was still all square.
The second half opened up a bit with opportunities for both sides within minutes. In the Columbus end a goal mouth scramble had a few of the Villa boys calling for a penalty, but on the other end a Columbus forward found himself with a bit too much space and smashed a ball into the top right corner leaving second half goalkeeper Pat Satorie wishing he were a few inches taller. Following the goal, the Lads responded in impressive fashion creating chances and pressuring the Crew into plenty of mistakes. Aerin West played well not only in the back line, but as a target for corners and free kicks as well proving to be a potent threat in the air. But it was one of the more diminutive figures on the pitch who proved to be the deciding factor. Hamid Shariff rose above the opposition and connected on a glancing header which floated its way over the keeper and into the side netting. For the goal, and for his tireless work in the midfield Shariff was named player of the match, but it should be said that Gerard McGahey put in a sublime cross for Shariff to finish off. The next match for the men will be away at Grand Rapids Ole on June 17th with a 7PM kickoff.
With about an hour and a half to spare we arrived back in Toledo and immediately began preparing for the Villa Womens match against Fort Wayne United. Contrary to the last few games for the Ladies, they started off strong on the night with high pressure early and often. The press proved dividends in just the 11th minute when forward Marissa Swindell got on the end of a ball intercepted by Josie Fowler, drove to the end line and played a dangerous ball to the top of the six-yard box. The cross was met by an onrushing Veronica Zaciek who smashed it home to give Villa the lead. Fort Wayne responded well and forced some great saves out of not only goal keeper Kathleen Duwve, but central defender Kirsten Catloth who sacrificed her body, diving to the ground to keep the ball out of the net in the 39th minute.
The first chance of the second half came from a well-drawn up Fort Wayne corner, but the shot smashed into the side netting. Emotions were high following the next goal as Ivi Casagrande, playing her final game of the season before heading to London for an internship, delivered a peach of a ball over the top sending Zaciek in one on one with the goal keeper. In a single deft tough she sent the ball past the onrushing keeper and into the bottom corner for her second goal on the night and fourth of the UWS season. Not to be outdone, three of the Bowling Green contingent linked up extremely well to provide the final goal of the night. Skylar Fleek, Marissa Swindell, and Mikaela Couch strung together a few passes that carved apart Fort Wayne’s back line and Couch finished the play off with a looping effort off the fingertips of the keeper and into the back of the net. The three goals would be more than enough as Duwve and the back line would see off the game to preserve the shutout and a big three points with only two league home matches remaining. The Women will rematch against Indy Premier this Friday in the home leg of the series. Kickoff will be at 7PM.
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