Thursday, June 27, 2013

Spokane Shine make AC Seattle work for 4-2 road win Wednesday

Spokane finally scores twice, but AC Seattle stays in playoff contention | Photos: Gerald Barnhart - GALLERY
Plagued by a short-handed roster for two weeks, the Spokane Shine finally had a full contingent of players on hand late Wednesday afternoon for their home contest against league newcomer AC Seattle. Despite putting forth their best effort of the season thus far in a near draw, the Shine came up short of earning their first points of the campaign with the visitors getting two goals from Romina Pinna, including a stoppage time dagger.

Hailey McClure
A foul on Kara Marbury deep on the right wing five minutes into the contest led to the Shine taking the lead for the second consecutive game at home when Julia Moravec, who scored over the weekend, sent a free kick squarely into the box where it sailed over the trio of rising players and fell to Hailey McClure. The Eastern Washington University bound defender fired it home from about 13 yards.

The advantage, however, did not last long as the Italian-flavored side answered back with a couple quality chances that were stopped by Whittni Mundel before they finally found an equalizer in the 15th.. In the ninth minute Pinna drove into the box and sent a well-driven ball toward goal that the keeper made a diving stop to knock away. Four minutes later a free kick from Alessandra Nencioni 30 yards out from the right side toward the far post was saved nicely.

The equalizer came courtesy of a nice play as the Italians swept up the right side via Caterina Kensbock, who delivered a nice cross into the six where Pinna made a deft, slight touch on the bouncing ball to redirect it over the onrushing keeper at the quarter-hour mark for her fourth of the campaign.

Giulia Ambrosetti celebrates first of season
Things got away from the Shine in the final 15 minutes of the half, creating an unfortunate hole that proved to deep to climb out of. In the 30th minute a corner led to the go-ahead goal for the visitors. The ball dropped into the box and was cleared out only partially, coming to Giulia Ambrosetti, who sent a moderately-paced roller through the mass of players in the box and past Mundel for her first of the year. Eight minutes later Nencioni launched a shot unexpectedly from 45 yards that sailed into the upper right corner out of Mundel’s reach to give AC Seattle a 3-1 lead at the intermission. It was Nencioni’s second goal of the season and first since the club’s season opener.

As the second half wore on the visitors began to tire and the full-out attack turned primarily into quick counters as the game transitioned into a midfield battle for the first 20 minutes. Then the Shine turned into the aggressors in the offensive end. A chance in the 64th minute forced a quick save from Ilaria Leoni that led to a pair of key corners from Jaimey Etten. The first saw the ball fall away from the goal to Jami Hegg, who let loose a shot from just inside the box that Leoni again had to make a nice save on. The ensuing restart dropped directly into danger and was nearly knocked in by a pair of Shine players that were just off the line in the center of the goal only to have it blocked away. The ball, however, popped toward the right post where Marbury dove in to stab the ball past the diving keeper to pull the Shine within one.

Romina Pinna
The Shine continued to press for the equalizer and held the better of play and possession more and more as the time passed. They nearly found it in the 78th when a solid attack led to goal-line clearance and two minutes later came up shy again when Moravec fired a 20-yard blast that went narrowly wide of the left post.

It was AC Seattle, however, that had the last word though when Pinna scored against the run of play. She took the ball into the box and juked a pair of Shine defenders inside the area to create a shooting lane, picking her spot and placing it to the left of Mundel from about 15 yards less than 30 seconds into stoppage time.

“It was good - these guys are a good side, but I thought we gave them as good as we could get,” said Shine head coach Dan Philp. “It was just a couple mistakes cost us. We just weren’t decisive enough in the back. I told the girls after the game if we cut out those four mistakes we probably win the game.

“We did enough to at least get a draw today. We proved we could play with one of the better teams in the league, but it’s always about getting our numbers out here. That’s our biggest frustration. That felt like that should have been our first game, and then we’re building off that rather then scraping it together.”

AC Seattle now returns home to play host to SRR Issaquah on Sunday before making heading to Oregon for a midweek double dip Tuesday and Wednesday against the THUSC Diamonds and Westside Timbers, two of the three in contention to make the playoffs from the state.

Spokane, meanwhile, is facing two tough tasks this weekend. It begins with trying to put together a squad for a road trip with personal conflicts arising once again (players electing to stay and play in Hoopfest) and continues with a lengthy trip to Eugene to play Saturday, stopping in Bend Sunday on the return trip before rounding out the campaign Tuesday when they play host to Issaquah. The match against Bend could be the biggest of the season as both teams could enter the match without a point in the table, making the clash about pride.

Scoring Summary

SPO: Hailey McClure (Julia Moravec) 5
SEA: Romina Pinna (Caterina Kensbock) 15
SEA: Giulia Ambrosetti 30
SEA: Alessandro Nencioni 38
SPO: Kara Marbury 65
SEA: Romina Pinna 90+


Seattle: Ilaria Leoni; Caterina Kensbock, Carmela Anaclerico, Alia Guagni, Simona Parrini, Ester Postiglione, Giulia Ambrosetti, Alessandra Nencioni, Alessandra Barreca, Isabella Agus, Romina Pinna, Alessandra Pulitano, Veronica Sotgiu, Francesca Mamoliti, Erika Caffulli, Elisa Colle, London Dennen, Viviana Schiavi, Jaclyn Rudd

Spokane: Whittni Mundel; Ali Hall, Kendra Morscheck, Lacy Reneker, Allison Jordan, Lisa Clausen, Martha Heaps, Whitney Wood, Julia Moravec, Taylor Lang, Jami Hegg, Meghan Dempsey, Alyssa Loyd, Jaimey Etten, Riley Richardson, Savanah Hoekstra, Kara Marbury, Karlee Goehner, Hailey McClure, Josie Greenwood, Kenna Simon, Chae Brown


Emerald City @ Bend Timbers 1:00
Spokane Shine @ Eugene Metro Azul 4:00
THUSC Diamonds @ Westside Timbers 7:00

SUNDAY, June 30
Spokane Shine @ Bend Timbers 1:00
Emerald City @ Eugene Metro Azul 3:00
SRR Issaquah @ AC Seattle 6:00