Friday, August 22, 2014

Nordic Update: Success for Craig and Lindsay

Area soccer products Erin Craig and Megan Lindsay are finding some success abroad this summer in Sweden and Finland, respectively.

Craig (R) with the cup post-game
University of Montana product Erin Craig helped her side pick up a little hardware last week in Sweden, capturing the lower-level Coop Norrbotten Cup, which apparently gives her side, Assi IF, the opportunity to qualify and play in the federation's top-tier Swedish Cup competition next year.

Craig's Assi IF is absolutely dominating the third-tier regional league, Division 1 - Norrland, with a stunning 13-1-1 record through 15 of 22 games. The second-place side is four points back with a 12-3-0 record, but does not possess the impressive scoring tally of 61 goals for and eight allowed that Assi IF has, scoring 18 fewer and giving up twice as many. The team is hoping their success will lead to promotion to the second division next year should they hold on and find success in a pair of qualification games at the conclusion of the season.

Lindsay (R) in Sarajevo
With the Naisten Liiga on a month break in Finland, Spokane's Megan Lindsay spent some time on loan recently with league-leading Aland United as they took part in the opening Qualifying Round group phase of the UEFA Champions League. Playing in Sarajevo last week, Aland United were 4-0 winners in the opener with Lindsay playing the first half. They then fell 7-0 to eventual group-winner Medyk Konin of Poland and were edged 1-0 by host Sarajevo in the final game. Lindsay played the second half of the second game and came in with 22 left in the third game.

Lindsay is currently tied for fifth in the league with 10 goals, tied for the most among non-domestic players. Four of her 10 goals came in games against Aland United, perhaps inspiring the loan. She scored two in a 3-3 draw earlier in the season and both goals in their 7-2 loss in the next to last game before the break.

When play resumes at the end of August Lindsay will have two games to potentially get Kokkola F10 out of the four-team zone determining the relegation round, a group-phase playoff among the bottom four clubs to avoid relegation. Her club is five points back of safety with games against another team in the zone and the club they are chasing.