Over the past two weeks, Hotspur have battled often on the pitch. In the LA Municipal Women’s A division, the women have been successful, earning four wins in the first four games to start the season off strong. Similarly, in LA Muni 7-aside play, the Spurs have continued to win, going three for three to start the season. The side continues to struggle in the very competitive Coast Soccer League, and, despite a fierce battle, lost the sole CSL game that was played in the last couple weeks.
On April 5th, Hotspur took on Devastators in the LA Muni A Division. In a hard-fought game, Hotspur eventually triumphed, earning the win with two goals by way of center midfielder Mary Brazie. In the net, newcomer Charissa Clark stepped up for the Spurs, demonstrating strong skills and making several saves to protect the lead.
Newcomer Helene O’Hagan logged her first ever assist for the Spurs in the early minutes of the game, when the defender played a long ball through to Brazie, who was making a run through the defense on the left side of the pitch. Brazie collected the ball, turned and slotted the ball towards the back right post to score.
Ana Marshall assisted the Spurs’ second goal of the game around the 25 minute mark of the second half. Marshall, who plays on the Spurs 7-aside team was making her debut with Hotspur’s 11-aside group. To start the play, Marshall won the ball at left defense and quickly played the ball forward to Brazie on the left side of the pitch. Brazie turned with the ball, beat the opposing right back, and toe poked the ball past the keeper, again netting a low ball to the back right post.
The Spurs’ next appeared on the pitch on April 12th to face off against Lady Killers, again in an LA Municipal A League match. This time, the Spurs blasted past their opponents to a 6-1 win. Rachel Pearson tended net for Hotspur, attending her duties well and allowing just one to slide past during the course of the match.
The first goal of the match was scored by outside midfielder Flora Guilbaut. The play started when defender Oriana Nierojewski sent a through ball to Brazie on the left side of the field. Brazie dribbled end line and then slotted the ball back across the face of the net. Guilbaut was running at the back post to knock it in.
Next, Diana Vela scored an unassisted goal off a corner kick. Brazie centered the ball off the kick, and the keeper leaped up to punch the ball away. Vela received the ball off the deflection and buried it into the back of the net with composure.
Finishing off the scoring in the first half was forward Lindsey Moss. In a play similar to Guilbaut’s goal, Nierojewski started the play with a long ball to Brazie on the left side of the field, this time playing the ball in the air. Brazie brought the ball out of the air with one touch and again dribbled towards the end line before slotting the ball back across the face of the net. Moss’ run towards the center of the net proved well-timed, and the forward was able to knock it in off a touch.
In the second half, Nierojewski moved to the midfield and got involved in some scoring of her own. With Brazie now at forward, Nierojewski made a through run towards the left side of the field, and Brazie fed the ball through. Nierojewski turned on the ball, dribbled towards net, and drilled a low shot towards the far post.
The final two goals of the half were scored first by Brazie and then by Nierojewski, both unassisted off long dribbles. In both cases, the goal-scorers received the ball in the Spurs’ defensive end of the field and dribbled the length of the field, beating several defenders before putting the ball in the back of the net. Also consistent on both plays was forward Hailey Murray’s decoy run to the right, which was threatening enough to earn the defender’s attention, thereby allowing more space for Brazie and Nierojewski to dribble.
Hotspur is currently in first place in both the LA Municipal Women’s A League and the LA Municipal Women’s Monday 7-aside League. In the Coast Soccer League, the team sits in fourth. The side is next set to take on The Purple Team in the LA Muni A Division on May 3rd. On May 4th, the team faces off against Focus FC in the Coast Soccer League.
LA Hotspur had a strong start to its 11-aside Municipal league season, as the side overcame Kickin It by a score of 4-1 last Saturday. Several new Hotspur players made their debut in the match, including Charissa Clark, Demi Cobar, Shannon Snow and Katie Donegan. Rachel Pearson tended goal for the Spurs.
Kelly Buck scored first for the Spurs with twenty minutes remaining in the first half. Mary Brazie delivered a corner kick towards the far post, where Buck cleanly first-timed the ball into the back of the net on a volley. It was the only goal of the half.
In the second half, the Spurs’ first goal was set up by Flora Guilbaut, who sent a cross to Brazie from the left side of the field. Brazie trapped the ball to her feet, turned and took a low, left footed shot that was placed into the right corner. Becca Bullard scored the next two goals for the Spurs. Both goals were made on similar plays, where Bullard made a run in the left-center of the field, received a through pass from a midfielder, beat her defender and drilled the ball into the back of the net. The first assist came by way of Brazie; the second goal was assisted by Buck.
Meanwhile, in the Coast Soccer League, the Spurs faced off against So Cal Select on Sunday, March 30th. Hotspur ultimately lost the tightly contested match by a score of 2-1. So Cal scored a goal in the first half and then again in the second to establish a two goal lead. With ten minutes left to play, Brazie won the ball from a So Cal forward, turned and drilled a long shot from 40 yards out. The ball sailed just under the crossbar to give the Spurs a point. But the lone goal was not enough and despite pushing hard until the end of the match, Hotspur were unable to equalize.
Keeper Brittany Parker made several saves on the day to keep the Spurs in the match and defenders Oriana Nierojewski and Hillary Tribbs controlled the backline, keeping So Cal’s offensive threats at bay. In the center of the field, Ana Carinena repeatedly won battles for the Spurs and contributed defensively for the duration of the match.
After a rocky start to the spring 2014 Coast Soccer League season, LA Hotspur have rebounded by remaining undefeated in the last two games.
Hotspur’s undefeated streak comes with a bit of assistance from opponents Focus FC, who forfeited a match just hours before game time on Saturday, March 8th. The win was the Spurs’ first and only of the season so far.
The Spurs then went on to play AC Brea on Saturday, March 22nd in a home match at Occidental, a game that would end in a tie. The Spurs scored the first two goals of the match and were leading 2-nil at halftime. However, rapid scoring in the second half led to a final score of 4-4.
Translation? In the second half, both teams combined to score a goal every 7.5 minutes.
The scoring in the first half started off a goal from outside midfielder Kelsey Gudgeon. Lauren Johnson in-bounded the ball off a throw in, playing it to Mary Brazie on the left side of the field. Brazie turned and sent the ball across the field, towards the far post, to Gudgeon who was making the run. Gudgeon controlled the ball out of the air in a one-time volley, finishing the ball to put the Spurs up by one.
The Spurs continued to press for the rest of the half, dominating play and drawing many fouls in the final third of play. With ten minutes left in the half, Becca Bullard had the ball in the penalty area with a chance on net. She was brought down viciously from behind, earning a penalty kick. Bullard stepped up to take the kick, and blasted it soundly into the back of the net, pinging the ball off the back left post and giving Hotspur their second goal of the game.
At the start of the second half, Brea increased their offensive pressure, pushing hard to equalize. Ten minutes in, the side earned their first goal of the half.
But the Spurs quickly equalized with another goal by Bullard! The play started with Gudgeon, who had the ball on the outside right side of the pitch, just over the halfway line. Gudgeon sent a long cross that shot past all of Brea’s defenders, landing in the path of Bullard who was making a run on the left side of the field. Bullard caught the ball on a one-time strike off the bounce, chipping it over the keeper and into the back of the net, bringing the score to 3-1, Hotspur.
The Spurs then quickly found another on yet another Gudgeon assist. Again, Gudgeon had the ball on the right side of the pitch, and played the ball to Brazie on the run. Brazie turned with the ball and dribbled towards net, still on the right side of the pitch. Teammate Nicoline Jorgensen made a run towards the right corner flag, pulling three defenders with her in the process, and opening space up on the left for Brazie. Brazie capitalized on the space by cutting left and, from the 18, drilling a left-footed shot that went just over the hands of the keeper. The goal brought the score to 4-1, but Brea were not content.
With 25 minutes left to pay, Brea miraculously found three more goals, finally earning the equalizer with no more than five minutes on the board. The Spurs continued to press and earned a few more opportunities in the second, but Brea maintained dominance in the last thirty minutes of play.
On the season, the Spurs (1-1-3) sit in fourth place in the standings with just 4 points in five games. The Spurs have seven games to turn it around. Hotspur face off against So Cal Select this Sunday at Irvine High School, in a match that marks the halfway point of the season.