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WPSL Wrap Up: Week 5

Red Stars roll on, Fusion earn their first point, and Fire dominates the derby

June 17, 2018 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Fire 98 SC forward Mariah Haberle (36) kicks the ball during the Fire 98 SC vs Chicago Red Stars Reserves match at Sea Foam Stadium. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
June 17, 2018 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Fire 98 SC forward Mariah Haberle (36) kicks the ball during the Fire 98 SC vs Chicago Red Stars Reserves match at Sea Foam Stadium. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Wednesday:

Chicago City SC vs Chicago Red Stars Reserves

The professional women of Red Stars Reserves continue to roll, winning the latest #battleofchicago 5-1 and their 8th consecutive win. At DePaul University’s Wish Field, Eigenberger in the 13th and 52nd, Visalli in the 19th and Boyles in the 44th set up a win and even a City goal from Wright did nothing to stem the tide as Redei finished the 5 star win in the 74th.

Minnesota TwinStars FC vs Milwaukee Torrent

Haley Johnson ambushed the Dragons in the 2nd minute and Jen Eberhardy doubled the Torrent lead before a rear-guard action was enough to hold off TwinStars.

Friday:

Dakota Fusion FC vs Milwaukee Torrent

From the basement, Torrent are finding their form, with a three game unbeaten streak leading into this game at Moorhead High. After their win against TwinStars in Minnetonka, the club made the decision to travel up to the Red River Valley early and set up camp, and the decision appears to have paid off as they showed none of the rust you would expect from a team on a 2 games in 3 days road streak. Jen Eberhardy (UW-Milwaukee) in the 8th minute began the scoring as Torrent wore down the home side. Number 2 was end to end, as Fusion’s Katie Moller (University of North Dakota) shot across the face of Sara Klimisch’s goal. Torrent then broke back down the other end of the pitch and immediately made it 2-0 in the 18th minute through Leah Celarek (Marquette University)

Mallory Fenske (who plays at local powerhouse North Dakota State University) became the first home goal scorer in the history of the WPSL side in the 25th minute, and only the second goal of the season - with Moller’s lightning quick strike in St Paul the first.

There was to be no first win of the season, as Torrent closed out the game with a third through Gabriela Zabala (UW-Milwaukee) and escaped a couple of shots across the bows.

While not obviously favoring one side or the other, it was also clear that the referees were calling a lot of fouls that others would not consider fouls.

Saturday:

Fire SC 98 vs Chicago Red Stars Reserves

It was Fire SC’s turn to make a trek to the windy city, though they were unable to come away with anything against the consistent league leaders. Red Stars’ press earned the hosts a very early goal, but Fire SC kept the first half competitive, finding a decent number of shots on frame. Red Stars scored out of the break and the match would end that way at 2-0, but there were certainly some missed chances for Fire SC.

Sunday:

Milwaukee Torrent vs Chicago City SC

Torrent took their late season unbeaten run to 5 with a 2-2 draw against with their fellow expansion franchise. The first 15 minutes was relentless City pressure without any goals coming as a result. The home side then grabbed the reins and Aubrey Krahn slotted the go-ahead goal in the 39th minute, under the crossbar after build up from Jordyn Rolli and Jen Eberhardy. City responded with 2 goals in 7 minutes from the 50th minute on and held off the Torrent until the 86th minute, when Leah Celarek equalized from the penalty spot.

Dakota Fusion FC vs Minnesota TwinStars FC

TwinStars arrived in town with Bemidji State Beaver Natalie Engel deputising for Bulut Turk Ozturk as coach and she and Fusion’s Jack Hartley oversaw a turf burner in a constant drizzle. Fusion spent much of the game living up to their potential rather than their record, leading 2-0 with goals from Katie Moller (in the 14th minute, with an assist from fellow goalscorer Mallory Fenske) and Ruth Hegsted (in the 22nd minute, assisted by Holly Enderle).

The home looked secure in the lead but two goals in 5 mins saw TwinStars level the score. The visitors then went ahead in the 40th minute, despite Fusion continuing to press, after Haley Hillstrom barged an attacker over in the area. The penalty itself was exquisitely placed into the corner.

Fusion pressed up and in injury time at the end of the first half, Holly Enderle bulleted the ball into the net in a goalmouth scramble.

TwinStars began the second half with Jade King dancing into the Fusion area before a diving Haley Hillstrom palmed it away. Hillstrom then tipped a point blank shot over the bar in the 57th. In the 64th minute, Annika Greaney put Fusion ahead for the final time but the visitors had a final comeback, Dakota Wendell securing the draw in the 84th minute and turning a first ever win for Fusion into a first ever point.

Monday:

Minnesota TwinStars FC vs Fire SC 98

The first-ever Twin Cities derby was sure to bring fireworks, and the game certainly delivered. Minnesota TwinStars initially looked to be the better side, but Fire SC quickly took over and rolled their way to a 6-1 road win.

TwinStars’ Madison Burandt opened the scoring by chipping Fire’s keeper, but that’s as far as Minnesota’s offense would go. Mariah Haberle was not a starter for the visitors, but nonetheless made her presence known by deflecting a header in to equalize for Fire. She wouldn’t settle for just one goal, though, and fired her next touch into the top of the net for her second goal in less than two minutes. Ashley Ebeling added a third for Fire SC right before the half.

University of Minnesota star Molly Fiedler notched a goal in the second half, and Emily Sullivan secured a quick brace of her own with finishes three minutes apart.

TwinStars’ fading performance could perhaps be attributed to their game on Sunday, a 4-4 draw with Dakota Fusion in Moorhead in which they only had two substitutes. “We didn’t really have a bench,” said TwinStars coach Bulut Turk Osturk. “I don’t want to make [fatigue] an excuse, but of course [it played a part].”

Despite the lopsided score, Osturk was impressed with how his team played. “To come out here and try and do it again against a quality side like that is no small task,” he said.

Even Fire SC co-head coach Mickey McNeill thought the hosts looked good. “I think TwinStars were excellent—they came out and scored the first goal.”

But it was the strength of Fire SC that sealed the deal. “We came off of a tough loss to [Chicago] Red Stars Reserves, so we had to re-focus,” McNeill explained.

McNeill was especially proud of Mariah Haberle’s performance. “Mariah Haberle coming in off the bench, she killed it,” he praised. “But they all contributed—they love each other.”

*For exact kickoff times, locations, and tickets, visit the websites of the home club, which can be found by clicking the bolded team