Dayton – The Dayton Dutch Lions FC Women’s team (0-0-0) played their season opener against the Braddock Road Stars Elite (0-0-0) at Xavier University on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
The game started with a fast pace as the adrenaline was flowing for both sides. Both teams struggled to maintain quality possession as the fast paced game went back and forth. The Braddock Stars were able to play more on the Lady Lions side in the first half, but the Lions counter attacked dangerously in return. In the eighteenth minute however, Braddock’s Kahla Seymour out-paced her defender to take a quality shot on Haley Gribler in the Lion’s goal. A diving save was needed to keep the score even. Braddock striked again in the twenty first minute, as the Lions would lose the ball up top and the Stars would take advantage. A mistake by the Lions defenders led to another shot and near goal by Braddock’s Seymour with the ball just rolling wide. The Lions got a chance of their own in the twenty fifth minute as a smart pass off the right side landed at the feet of Michele Christy who took a hard shot on goal but Braddock’s keeper Kelcie Macomber made the diving save. In the thirty fifth minute a direct kick by Dayton found the head of Vanessa Gilles but the ball flew wide of the Stars goal. Dayton’s Ode Fulutudilu recieved the ball in the thirty fifth minute and make a blazing run down the left side, crossing the ball to Brittany Persaud who shot, but Braddock Road’s Macomber was there to block it. Both keepers were kept busy in the last few minutes of the half as both teams turned it up, with shots being fired off at both ends. The half ended in a scoreless tie.
The second half started with the Lions taking possession and control of the game with opportunities for substitute Meghan Blank making runs to Braddock’s goal. The Stars were able to counter attack however and had opportunities in the fifty fourth and fifty fifth minutes as they would earn the first corner kick of the game and a direct kick but were unable to capitalize on either. In the fifty eighth minute Braddock again had a golden opportunity as they ran down the right side and cross in to Chris Meyers but she fired the ball just left of goal. The Lions came right back in the sixty second minute when a free kick was placed beautifully near the goal and bounced off a Braddock player and out over the top of the goal. Dayton earned the corner but could not capitalize. The exciting game went back and forth with the Dayton Dutch Lions having more possession and more chances but they could not finish. In the seventy sixth minute a great ball from the Dayton middle found Blank up front as she found herself in a one on one with the keeper but put it high. Braddock Road found some chances with the counter as Olivia Fiegel and Seymour combined repeatedly to create chances that kept the Dayton defense on its toes. In the eighty fifth minute the Lions got an opportunity when Fulutudilu broke open in front of Braddock’s goal and take a hard shot, but it few high. However in the eighty seventh minute Micaela Powers started a run forward that was broken up by Braddock. A weak pass in the back by Braddock Road gave the Lady Lion’s Meghan Blank the ball she needed to finish and Dayton would take the 1-0 lead. The game ended with the Dayton Dutch Lions FC winning their opening game at home.
Coach Macleod had this to say about the game: “We were happy with the result. We knew with only three days of practice before the first game and with some girls not arriving until the day before game day. We knew it would be tough for everyone to click together. We came out here and we worked hard as a team. We created chances. We only scored on one of them but, creating chances at this stage of the season is a good bonus. Braddock had a good side. They came here with a lot of players with college experience and experience at the top level. I am very happy to come away with a 1-0 win in the first game of the season.
The Dayton Dutch Lions FC Women play Braddock Road Stars Elite again this Sunday at 12:00pm at DOC Stadium in West Carrollton, Ohio. The Lady Lions travel to play the Carolina Elite Cobras on May 22nd at 7pm est at the Kroc Center .