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Mequon Completes Perfect Group Stage to Earn Semifinals Berth

posted Dec 9, 2012, 6:47 PM by John DeFord   [ updated Dec 10, 2012, 7:08 AM ]
Bradenton, Fla. – Mequon United completed a clean sweep of Group C on Sunday with a 2-1 victory against West Pines Strikers FC at the Super Y-League North American Finals at IMG Academy. 
Mequon started early with offensive chances. Greta Ricigliano sent Courtney Wiencek on a run into the box in the seventh minute, but Wiencek’s shot was saved by the diving West Pines goalkeeper.

In the ninth minute, Wiencek returned the favor and crossed to the top of the box to the waiting Ricigliano, whose shot across goal beat the keeper for a 1-0 lead.

West Pines’ Sabrina Cardona tested the Mequon goalkeeper from distance in the 19th minute, but it was all the Strikers could muster in the opening half.

Isabelle Thomsen attempted a few long-range shots that got increasingly closer each attempt. The shot that finally went in was a penalty, however.

The referee awarded a penalty kick in the 29th minute after a Mequon player was shoved in the box following a corner kick. Thomsen’s show was perfectly placed in the upper-left of the goal, out of reach for the diving ‘keeper.  Even from 30 yards away from goal, Thomsen was a threat. A dipping shot grazed the top of the crossbar before the halftime whistle.

Ricigliano picked up where she left off in the 37th minute with a shot that earned her team a corner. She found the ball in a scramble from the resulting corner and struck a shot off of the post before being cleared away.

Mequon United could have used that extra insurance. West Pines’ Shannon Turner assisted an Amanda Perez goal in the 51st minute and it was game on.

Cardona stood over a free kick opportunity around midfield in the 55th minute while two of her defenders made their way forward. With only one defender behind her, Cardona made a poor decision to shoot the ball instead of play in a cross to her eight teammates waiting in the box for an equalizer. Her shot missed wide.

Nicole Albrecht almost found the equalizer after the Mequon goalkeeper fumbled a shot, but it was too little, too late for the Strikers.

“I think we played really well,” said Ciana Engroff, a U11 call-up. “It was about the focus and working as a team.”  Mequon United will face fellow unbeaten Super Nova SC in the semifinals on Monday, while West Pines will face Princeton Soccer Association in a consolation match.