D.C. United Women downed the University of Maryland Saturday night 1-0 as Sara Sample scored the winner in the marquee match of the first annual Headers For Hope charity soccer tournament, held at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md. to benefit the Holy Cross Hospital and Cancer Center.
Founded by local soccer executive Louise Waxler, “Headers” collected donations during the long run-up to the April 21 event, as well as charging just $10 per fan to watch a total of seven games all day and night.
William & Mary, Navy, Loyola (Md.), Villanova, amateur side Maryland Capitols and a new team known as Women’s Professional SUPERGROUP all played earlier in the day on the surrounding fields, complete with painted pink field lines and blue skies.
It all lead to the marquee 6:30 p.m. match in the SoccerPlex Stadium, which is also D.C. United Women’s home venue. While Maryland was wrapping up their official spring season – with only their alumni game left to play – D.C. United Women are just getting started on their second season of existence.
“We wanted to get an early game in this year for lots of reason,” said team owner Bill Lynch from the press box during the match. “But the ability to do so in our home stadium as a guest of such a great event was icing on the cake. We’re happy to do what we can to help Louise.”
United Women were on the front foot early in the possession game, but for several stretches of the first half, Maryland repeatedly used their speed to get down the flanks. United dealt with the pressure however, and never really gave up a close chance, other than a near own goal that caromed off the crossbar late in the half.
D.C. came closest to scoring when Tiffany Brown’s heel flick nearly finding the side netting as a deflected corner fell to her on the six-yard line, and again when local under-17 club player Alex Myers clanged the cross bar from over 30 yards out.
Hard rain fell for most of the first half, driving nearly half of the estimated 300 fans for cover, but those who stayed for the second 45 minutes witnessed a better-organized side, thanks to a formation adjustment by second-year head coach Mike Jorden. D.C. did better at neutralizing Maryland’s danger points and poured on their own spirited attack with the help of improved possession.
With several high school players, including U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team player Andi Sullivan, seeing good minutes and staying involved, it was a pair of more experienced players who notched the night’s only goal in the 60th minute when Caitlin Miskel’s corner kick was nudged in at the far post by former Terp Sara Sample.
While both teams had good chances to notch goals, when the final whistle blew on a wet night for a great cause, the stats column showed the W-League side deserved the spoils, with 14 second-half shots and 19 overall compared to six for Maryland, as well as eight corners to the Terps’ one.
Next up for Maryland is the alumni game, player meetings and class finals. Some may then make their way to United’s planned early-May tryouts for college players and find themselves wearing the same black-and-red uniforms they battled on Saturday.
For D.C., who played this game with only five officially signed players to date; the new season is just beginning. They hold tryouts and training over the next few weeks with an eye toward their W-League season.
The team will have one more major game before that season begins, a major test against former WPS side Boston Breakers, who visit the SoccerPlex on May 12 in a preseason exhibition. Kickoff is 6 p.m.
Home Team: D.C. United Women 1
Visiting Team: University of Maryland 0
Date: Apr 21, 2012
Competition: Headers For Hope
Match Type: Non-League / Friendly
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex: 11 (Stadium)
Kickoff: 6:30 pm
Regulation Length: 80 minutes
Weather: Windy, heavy rain.
DC Starters: 0-Michelle Betos, 2-Sarah Sample, 5-Marisa Abegg, 7-Caitlin Miskel, 8-Andi Sullivan, 12-Hayley Siegel, 13-Tiffany Brown, 14-Alex Myers, 19-Ashley Herndon, 20-Jerica DeWolfe, 27-Danielle Malagari
Substitutes: 00-Alysa Wenzel, 1-Alex Weaver, 3-Brooke Jacobs, 6-Carley Jenkins, 9-Mikaela Howell, 11-Clara Logsdon, 16-Kathryn Kelly, 17-Isabelle Byers, 28-Michele Dalton
GOALS (Assists/second Assists)
Minute 60 – D.C. United Women – Sarah Sample (Caitlin Miskel)
D.C. United Women / University of Maryland
Shots: 18 / 6
Shots on Goal: 11 / 5
Saves: 10 / 5
Corner Kicks: 8 / 1
Fouls: 3 / 5
Offside: 1 / 5
Yellow Cards: 0 / 0
Red Cards: 0 / 0
* Match Report Generated By Report-a-Score.com