By D.F. Pendrys
FARMINGTON, CT- In a meeting of the state’s UWS teams, the Connecticut Rush and Connecticut Fusion went at it under the lights at FSA FC. The result would be a win for Connecticut. Jokes aside, it would be the visiting Rush that would come away with the narrow victory this night.
The first major scoring opportunity opportunity came for the Fusion when Cara Jordan ended up ahead of the defense but her shot was saved by Rush goalkeeper Rylee McGee to keep the home team off the score sheet.
Later in the first Kaylee Armenia would send it to Kyla Gallagher who fed it to Julia Carr who sent it back to Gallagher who sent it onto Alessandra Augur in the Fusion net, but the save was made as well.
The Rush would be the first team to get on the board though as Armenia launched the ball into the upper corner of the net to the goalie’s right after a feed from Andrea Basilicato at the 31st minute. It was a well set up fast moving effort to give the visitor’s the lead that they would carry into half time.
The Fusion were also struggling to get offensive attacks going while staying onsides as the offsides whistle had blown several times already in the half as their passing attempts moved forward.
With the second half underway, McGee fended off an Kacey Lawrence shot.
Later on Lawrence brought the ball down the field and sent it to Kylee McIntosh who got it to Maegen Doyle who faced off against McGee in the goal area. She sent it by the keeper on the ground and the score was tied at the 52nd minute.
The Rush would respond. Claire Mensi would pass it well to Gallagher who would then send a great centering pass to Rory Parri who struck it into the upper left corner of the net to take the lead back at the 59th minute.
McGee would be challenged again by Chanel Johnson and the Fusion would have other chances but nothing would find twine.
Late in the game the Fusion were in close to the net with the ball bouncing all around, Brooke Tracey got to a gap to save a potential goal after it moved in a different direction from McGee. That snuffed out probably the best Fusion opportunity in the late going.
For the Fusion, Johnson was noticeable at both ends of the field making defensive plays to cause turnovers and also generating shots. In addition to the assist on the goal, McIntosh got in the way of a few Rush offensive chances and stopped their momentum. Doyle for her part, stole the ball in the offensive zone to create another chance although the shot did not find it mark.
On the Rush side, Gallagher, Parri, and Armenia all moved the ball well offensively during the evening. At one point in the first, Gallagher fed Carr who got it back and fed Dodge for an eventual corner. Gallagher also had a header at the net off a Basilicato corner kick. In the second, Gallagher broke in and shot it and later would have another break in on goal as well. Mensi set up Gallagher’s solid shot attempt during all of this.
Claire Middlebrook was prominent on defense getting a variety of defensive stops either by blocking offensive efforts or interceptions or steals. One of her steals also set off a sequence of passes that produced a shot by the end of it. Brittany Simpson caused several turnovers through steals and turnovers and also moved the ball up the field quite often.