In a highly anticipated matchup, three-seeded Superior City FC traveled down to Chanhassen, MN to take on two-seeded Northern Tide FC on Saturday evening. The two squads traded results during the regular season, with both teams coming away with home wins. Superior traveled with a short roster, missing second leading scorer Alyssa Doyle and starting midfielders Victoria Thorson and Elena Davidson due to a day-before gametime change, but the Beacons came to town ready to play. The game kicked off with both squads battling for space all over the pitch. Superior pressured early, but weren’t able to find twine despite some good looks. Northern Tide scored on their first good chance of the half, when Emily Johnson drove into the box, cutting across and slamming the ball past a diving Gracie Meagher to put the hosts up by one in the 14th minute. Superior looked to equalize, with some great chances forward stifled by a strong Tide backline, but the squad looked poised to break through. Space continued to open, but neither team tallied and the Beacons went into the half needing a goal to equalize.
The second half saw an early scare, with Tide finding some space forward, including the release of one gnarly shot that barely curved wide of the post. Superior found their composure and continued to build up well, but those in attendance saw a persistent failure to capitalize in the final third. Despite the pressure, Tide goalkeeper Malan Goodson came up with a couple good saves to keep the visitors off the board. Superior’s Meagher came up with a big save on a breakaway chance, but it wouldn’t be enough, as minutes later Addison White beat a Superior defender 1v1 and juked Meagher to double the lead in the 74th minute. Now in desperation mode, the Beacons threw everything forward, forcing some big saves from Goodson late in the match, but Superior could not find an answer as they dropped from the playoffs with a 2-0 loss to end the fantastic inaugural season of women’s pre-professional soccer in the Twin Ports.
7-15/Chanhassen High School/UPSL Premier Midwest-West Semifinal
Superior City FC.........................................0 0 - 0
Northern Tide FC........................................1 1 - 2
First Half - NTFC - Emily Johnson (Mim Marsan) 14’
Second Half - NTFC - Addison White (Julie Bergen) 74’
Saves: SCFC - Gracie Meagher (2 saves); NTFC - Malan Goodson (7 saves)
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Superior City FC qualify for the playoffs
To start the busy week, Superior City FC hosted Granite City FC, St. Cloud’s pre-professional women’s squad. Superior, needing a win to secure a UPSL playoff spot, came out flying against the winless Granite team. Scoring was fast and furious throughout the game, with Niya Wilson, Molly Henderson, Kamryn Hill, Alyssa Doyle and Gwendoly Lilly recording multiple points in the blowout 9-0 win. Gracie Meagher did not face a shot in net on the day.
The next game, two days later, saw an undefeated Tonka-Fusion squad make the trip up north to take on the Beacons. Hoping to secure a home playoff game, Superior battled the Minnetonka-based club in an exciting game. The first half kicked off fast, with both teams swapping chances. The goalkeepers from both squads came up big, with some amazing diving saves on display for a good sized home crowd, and the teams found themselves deadlocked going into halftime.
Both teams continued to trade blows in the second half, with momentum swings determining which side of the field the ball could be found on. In the 59th minute, Molly Henderson found Niya Wilson open in the box. Wilson, with her signature right foot, slotted the ball into the net and Superior seemed to have found an answer to a Tonka team who had only allowed 3 goals in 10 games. Superior continued the pressure and began to dominate possession, looking to double the lead. With 6 minutes left, a defensive mistake left a Tonka forward open off of a set play. With room, she put the ball past Superior keeper Gracie Meagher, and the visitors managed to salvage a point and secured the one-seed as they headed into the playoffs.
7-6/NBC Spartan Sports Complex/UPSL Women's League Game
Superior City FC......................................4 5 - 9
Granite City FC........................................0 0 - 0
First Half - SCFC- Niya Wilson (Emilia McGiffert) 2’, SCFC - Hunter Zamzow (Elena Davidson) 30’, SCFC - Niya Wilson (Molly Henderson) 31’, SCFC - Molly Henderson (Victoria Thorson) 33’
Second Half - SCFC - Molly Henderson (Gwendolyn Lilly) 59’, SCFC - Alyssa Doyle (Unassisted) 70’, SCFC - Kamryn Hill (Ellie Keillor) 75’, SCFC - Alyssa Doyle (Kamryn Hill) 84’, SCFC - Kamryn Hill (Gwendolyn Lilly) 89’
Saves: SCFC - Gracie Meagher (0 saves); GCFC - Unknown (8 saves)
7-8/NBC Spartan Sports Complex/UPSL Women's League Game
Superior City FC.........................................0 1 - 1
Tonka Fusion Elite......................................0 1 - 1
First Half - No Scoring
Second Half - SCFC - Niya Wilson (Molly Henderson) 59’, TFE - Unknown 84’
Saves: SCFC - Gracie Meagher (10 saves); TFE - Unknown (9 saves)