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06 / 09

United Women End Road Streak with a 2 – 1 Victory in Fort Wayne

WRITTEN BY: Tori Twining
PUBLISHED ON: June 09, 2018

Fort Wayne, Ind. – “Win ugly, win often,” Head coach Jason Crist said after Lansing United’s 2 – 1 victory over the Fort Wayne United Gryphons. 

Lansing United travelled to Fort Wayne to end their streak of road games. The women played their first of two games on the weekend and were able to remain undefeated after a hard fought match.

Lansing had chances to score in the first half, managing four shots on goal. The women controlled the ball in the middle, but had problems getting consistent chances into the box and finishing on opportunities.

Turnovers in the middle cost Lansing in the 31st minute when Fort Wayne’s Amber Hoot found an opportunity with a recovering United defense, scoring on a breakaway run to take the lead.

Lansing was able to bounce back quickly and press the Gryphons defense. In the 36th minute, Lexi Pelafas took advantage of a Fort Wayne turnover in the box and ran the ball in for a goal.

“Players came in and made a difference,” Pelafas said. “They brought up the intensity…I just happened to be in front of the box and tapped it in.”

The match entered half-time with a 1 – 1 draw.

The assist queen, Riko Sagara, entered the match in the 74th minute and impacted the midfield immediately.

“I thought Riko changed the game when she came in,” Crist said. “She was able to go at them and make players miss.”

In the 81st minute, Pelafas created another opportunity after Sagara was fouled in the box and the women were granted the continuation of play. Pelafas found herself wide open in front of the net and didn’t let the chance slip away. She scored her second goal of the match, putting United up 2 – 1 over Fort Wayne. Sagara was given an assist on the play, making that her third in two games.

“Riko, for the second goal, came in and made a huge impact on the game,” Pelafas said. “I consider that her goal. She got the assist, but she did all the work for that.”

“I thought we played better in the second half, but it was a really physical game,” Crist said. “I think we had a ton of chances to score…but we didn’t finish.”

The United women will play their first home game at Archer Stadium Sunday, June 10 at 4 pm.

“I think they’re excited to play at home. It’s a tough ask because we have one day to recover and we are playing a fresh team,” Crist said. “Our back four played 90 minutes tonight. We are going to have to bounce back and play another 90.”

“I am so excited to play for this team and the fans. Having the first home game is so exciting and that will raise the energy for us to play good soccer,” Pelafas said. “It’s awesome that we have the next home game. We do need to win this game, so I think we’re in a good place to keep going forward and raising our standard.”