By Shelly Watkins
Motor City FC (MCFC) jumped to an early lead in Pittsburgh and never looked back.
MCFC defeated Pittsburgh Steel City FC 5-1 on Saturday afternoon and remain undefeated (3-0-0) in the Great Lakes Conference. The match was the first of two contests this weekend on the team’s eastern road trip.
Shannon Casey (Villanova University) opened the scoring with her first of two goals just four minutes into the match. The assist came from Alexa Spaanstra (Next Level Training) who has been red-hot this season in contributing 11 points in the team’s first two games.
Motor City increased its lead to 2-0 when Spaanstra was tripped in the box at 26:55 after a nice pass from Marisa Viggiano (Northwestern University). She converted the subsequent penalty kick to round-out the first half scoring.
In the second half, Casey scored at 28:55 on another collaboration with Spaanstra. Taylor Timko (University of Michigan) added a goal one minute later on an assist from Casey.
City’s last tally came from Megan Connelly (Florida State University), who was fresh off Ireland National Team duty, at 17:20. Connelly was assisted by Jamie Cheslik (Michigan State University).
Steel stole a goal with seven minutes remaining in the match, as a shot beat goalkeeper Bethany Kopel (Indiana University) to disrupt the team’s clean sheet. The goal was the first conceded by Motor City this season.
MCFC Head Coach Aaron Byrd was pleased with the effort and result.
“I’m happy with the way the girls played in certain areas of the game today,” said Byrd. “We still have a lot of work to do but the girls are adapting nicely and are really starting to play some quality soccer for longer periods of time.”
“We have a very short turnaround and play a very good Cleveland team on the second day of a back-to-back tomorrow,” said Byrd. “It will be a true test of what these girls are really made of. It will be nice to get a few fresh bodies in and to play another quality opponent.”
Joining the squad in Ohio will be defender Christina Murillo and forward Madi Wolfbauer. Murillo resumes her role with MCFC after representing the Mexico National Team in their 3-0 victory against Venezuela on Saturday in Monterrey.
MCFC travels to Cleveland for a 4:00 p.m. kickoff with the Ambassadors Sunday afternoon to finish the weekend’s business.