NE followed up its impressive 6-2 opening win over NB with a tightly-contested 2-0 victory against ND, and an exciting 3-2 match vs. NJ.
The first half of the NE vs. ND match was marked by a dearth of scoring opportunities. NE’s defensive corps – anchored by rock-solid play from Dan Krebs, Indran Ratnathicam, and the enforcer in the middle, Jay Klug – had the unenviable task of trying to slow down talented ND playmaker, Santiago Marra. After twenty minutes of intense, physical play, the teams went into the half deadlocked.
In the second half Brian Doherty helped NE to a 1-0 lead with a deft run up the right side, punctuated by a laser into the back of the net. Buoyed by fresh legs from its deep bench, NE seized the momentum and never let go. The all-important insurance goal came with less than 10 minutes to play, thanks to a gritty individual effort by Kenyan International Lawerence Riungu. ND battled valiantly, engineering numerous point-blank shots on goal, only to be met by one phenomenal save after another by out-of-this-universe goalkeeper Ryan McMonagle.
Against NJ, NE jumped out to a 2-0 first-half lead, with pretty goals from Lauren and Tim. Special kudos to Lauren for hammering the ball home on the fly off a pinpoint throw-in from the side. John Knoch made the score 3-0 midway through the second half, after which NE’s intensity seemed to drop a notch. NJ managed to cut the deficit to one following an amazing shot from at least 30 yards away, by NJ captain Diego Dayenoff. As the final seconds ticked down, NJ just missed tying the game when their exceptional goalie ran all the way into the offensive zone, and headed the ball wide.
Special shout-outs to: John Knoch for his consistently strong, overall play; Tim Evans for his tireless, feisty battling in the trenches; Brenda Steele for her incredible Ironwoman-like efforts (all 40 minutes in NE’s first match!); and Section E spectators who came out to cheer the team on.
A word of advice for future opponents:
1) Opposing women – beware the beguiling moves of NE’s international men of mystery which include the likes of British dandy Nick Hedges; Springbok Garth Napier; and the three Argentine amigos – Ariel Grignafini, Alec Kersman, and Manu Tesone.
2) Opposing men – beware the all-around athletic prowess of NE’s female contingent: They’re skilled; they’re in better shape than you are; and they’re not afraid to run you over.