West Carrollton, OH (June 24, 2016) The Dayton Dutch Lions FC (5-0-0 15 points) won the Women’s Premier Soccer League Valley championship with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the neighbouring Cincinnati Sirens (2-3-1 7 points). Second half goals from Katie Murray and Alexis Kiehl, a strong defensive back and field leadership from midfield captain and Woman of the Match Veronica Mazzella allowed the Lions to secure the match and the championship.
A strong crowd came out to support the undefeated home squad on a nice, but warm evening of soccer. The early minutes saw both teams create chances to score and the players were looking to get forward. In the 7th minute, the visitors struck first when Amanda Mason took a shot from the edge of the penalty area and it looked like a routine save. Instead, the ball was deflected at the last moment and went behind keeper Alex Steigerwald to give the Sirens a 1-0 lead.
Both teams continued to play an open attacking style of soccer and the Sirens almost doubled their lead in the 14th minute when a through ball sliced up the defense but the wingers just went wide. The remaining 30 minutes of the half did not produce any clear chances and the score remained 1-0 for the Sirens.
The halftime talk centered on staying supportive and to take shots on goal. The Lions heeded the instruction and got two good shots on goal in the opening 10 minutes. The third shot was taken by Murray just inside the box and it beat the Sirens keeper and the game was tied 1-1.
Neither team stopped pushing the attack, but the Lions started to gain the midfield as Mazzella was winning more balls and getting the ball out wide for attack.
The game also started to get a bit more physical as Lorina White earned the game’s first piece of plastic when she was shown yellow for a hard tackle in the 68th minute.
Dayton was using the flanks effectively and Ashley Gogolin played the perfect pass for Kiehl to run on to and she slotted her 70th minute game winner past the onrushing Sirens keeper.
Frustration may have started to set in as the Sirens had a player cautioned in the 82nd minute and one ejected for denying a goal scoring opportunity in the 90th minute.
When the final whistle blew, Queen’s “We are the Champions” blared from the speakers and the ladies congratulated each other on a fifth straight win.
Head Coach Ian Richardson shared, “I’m absolutely delighted for the girls, then have had a fantastic attitude from day one and thoroughly deserve this championship win.”
“We are now afforded the luxury of rotating some players in and out to ensure that everyone is healthy and ready for the playoffs. I am confident there is more to come from this team.”
The Lions will be on the road this week for a Friday, 7/1 to take on the Fire & Ice Soccer Club in St. Louis. The following week they play host to FC Pride on Saturday, 7/9 at 5:00pm as the first game of a doubleheader that evening.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.ddlfc.com or at the gate. Adults are $8.00 and youth $5.00…….5 and under are always free.