Motor City FC wins division, punches playoff ticket

Motor City FC (MCFC) clinched the WPSL’s Central-Great Lakes division top spot Sunday afternoon as they defeated Pittsburgh Steel City FC 3-0.  In doing so, MCFC punched their ticket to the league playoffs in St. Louis, MO that will take place on July 22-23.

Jamie Cheslik (Michigan State University) was instrumental with two assists, first connecting with Taylor Timko (University of Michigan) at 54:00 and then with Lex Warner (Michigan State University) at 74:00.  Jennifer Pippin (University of North Dakota) capitalized on a Steel defender’s misplay at 80:00 then tapped the ball into the net to complete the scoring for the home team.  

“I was happy with Taylor’s and Jamie’s play in the second half and Joanie Sieja (Oakland University) gave us a big boost off the bench today,” said Motor City FC head coach Aaron Byrd.  “Jamie had two great assists as she started to understand what we’ve been trying to do offensively.  That gave us the spark that we needed.” 

Motor City’s opening half of play was no great shakes.

“The first half was probably the worst that we’ve played all year,” said Byrd.  “We had a very candid halftime conversation in the locker room and I was way more impressed with the second half with both the understanding and by the way they bounced back.  We have a talented group of players, but they still need the guidance and positivity from the coaches to move forward.”

One division game remains for MCFC (7-0-1) as they travel to Grand Rapids Saturday to face Alliance Academy.  Regardless of the outcome, Motor City will have a week to prepare for their important road trip.

“We’ve got two weeks to put together what we need to do,” said Byrd.  “If we come out like we did in the first half today, we’ll be down 3-0 at halftime against any one of those talented teams.” 

As a side note, Motor City have six current players that were at their national team camps and unavailable for this weekend’s matches at Hurley Field.  Their return will no doubt add excitement to the team’s playoff run.