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Long Island holds Spirit Reserves to scoreless draw

Taken from liroughriders.com

The Long Island Rough Riders put up their best defensive effort of the season that resulted in a 0-0 draw against the top contender in the Northeastern Conference, the Washington Spirit Reserves.

The Rough Riders came into the match with the mentality to put pressure on the Spirit Reserves defense. Their 4-4-3 formation caught the Spirit Reserves off guard in the opening minutes of the match when Rough Riders midfielder Amanda Epstein found the ball wide and crossed a low ball into forward Rebecca Raber. Her shot hit target, but was blocked by the Spirit Reserves keeper Adelaide Gay.

As the game began to settle in, the Spirit Reserves were able to gain control of the ball and create opportunities for themselves. Rough Riders goalkeeper Diana Poulin stayed steady in the net as she saw much action in the middle of the half. A Spirit Reserves cross drove across the net, but Poulin was there to get a touch on it and disrupt the play. A few minutes later, forward Katie Yensen drove a ball on net, but Poulin kept a firm grip to keep the score at zero.

Although the Reserves produced more shots on net in the first half (10-1), the Rough Riders were able to tame their attack, due to the command of defender Georgia Kearny-Perry who was the anchor of the back line. The first half ended tied at zero. This is the first time the Spirit Reserves entered the second half goal-less.

The Spirit Reserves continued the second half with an eye for the goal, but the Rough Riders held strong to disrupt any attempts. In the 50th minute, the Spirit Reserves found the ball in the Rough Riders box which resulted in a scramble. The Rough Riders stayed fearless as they blocked every shot hit towards them. In the 75th minute, the Spirit Reserves top goal scorer, Lina Granados, received the ball at the top of the box, but two Rough Riders defenders closed her down to block her shot.

The Spirit Reserves had their best opportunity of the night in the 85th minute when forward Ashley Cuba hit a ball past Poulin, but Rough Riders defender Sue Weber was there to cover the line and clear the ball out of the dangerous area.

The Rough Riders only attempted one shot on goal, which was in the first 3 minutes of the match, but their smart defense earned them one point against the 1st place team in the Northeastern Conference. This result now keeps the Rough Riders in 3rd place with 7 points in the Northeastern Conference.

The Spirit Reserves return to action Sunday to complete their road trip against the North Jersey Valkyries. Match time is set for 12:00 noon. The Spirit Reserves return home this Wednesday to face local rival Braddock Road Stars Elite. The match is scheduled for June 18th at 7:30PM at Howison Soccer Complex in Woodbridge, Virginia.

The action continues on June 21st for a rematch against the New York Magic. Match time is set for 3:00PM at the Maryland SoccerPlex and is the first in a special doubleheader. The NWSL Washington Spirit face the Portland Thorns in the second match of the evening.