UTSA open college soccer season with win over UIW

Kaja Skare (Photo courtesy UTSA Athletics/Jeff Huehn)

College Soccer season in San Antonio has unofficially got under way with the now traditional season kick-off match. The two NCAA Division I schools in San Antonio took eachother on and it was UTSA who ran out convincing 4-0 winners over UIW at Park West on Thursday night.

The big hero for UTSA was their Norwegian defender, Kaja Skare who snagged a hat-trick, starting in the third minute. Roadrunners forward Olivia Nichols, saw her shot saved, but she recovered well and sent the ball to Skare who was left with a simple finish.

Just seven minutes later the Roadrunners should have doubled their lead when the UIW defense gave away a penalty. That allowed freshman forward Jordyn Lacy to step up and shoot, but her penalty was well saved by Cardinals keeper Sydney Huntsinger.

The Roadrunners kept the pressure up for much of the half, as they controlled the possession throughout. Despite that they could not break down a stern UIW defense, which kept them out and kept it 1-0 at the break.

But in the second half UTSA really came to life and went on the attack looking to add to their lead and 12 minutes in, it came. The ball was crossed in to the box for Skare by UTSA midfielder Marianne Hernandez, allowing Skare to easily head the ball home.

There was another lengthy break between goals before UTSA made it three in the 74th minute off a set-piece. Skare was fouled just outside the box, and stepped up to take the free-kick which curled around the wall and nestled nicely in to the upper corner of the goal.

UTSA were not done yet, and with just over ten minutes to play the Roadrunners scored their fourth of the night. UTSA forward Morgan Wilcox sent in a ball for freshman midfielder Nicole Galan to bury.

With three minutes to play the Cardinals had their best chance of the match when the cross came in to the box. But UTSA’s keeper jumped highest and swatted the ball clear to maintain the 4-0 win for UTSA.

Houston Dash finally score again

Photo: Houston Dash
After what seemed like a life-time without a goal, three came at once as Houston Dynamo managed a big victory on Saturday night. Taking advantage of their opponents being undermined by the Olympics, Houston Dash managed a 3-0 win over Portland Thorns at BBVA Compass Stadium.

 

Coming in to the match on a 560 minute scoreless streak, Houston Dash got started quickly opening the scoring in the seventh minute. It was an impressive cross from Kealia Ohai as it went past two defenders, but also Melissa Henderson, but Racel Daly got on the end of it, clipping it off the crossbar and over the line for the goal.

While the Dash were doing well in terms of possession, that would be all either side could manage as Portland did well defensively. Portland had scattered possession and struggled to really go for the match as Dash were dominant.

Amber Brooks punished Portland for letting her go in the 68th minute after she scored thanks to a half-cleared corner. Becca Moros’ shot back in to the box was deflected and fell to Brooks who ran on the back post scoring a simple tap-in, her first Dash goal.

The win was wrapped up with seven minutres to play when Kealia Ohai did it all herself as she made a strong run. Ohai tried to find Megean Crosson with a pass but it came off a defender, calling back for Ohai, allowing her to round the defense and then curl the ball off the post and in to the back of the net to seal the 3-0 win.

Colombia eliminate United States in Olympic qualifier

Puerto Rico Make NASL Return

Puerto Rico will be making a return to the NASL, joining the San Antonio Scorpions in the league in 2016, the league office announced in Puerto Rico Thursday afternoon. Fans of other clubs will not be happy with the timing of the inclusion with Puerto Rico joining the league in the Fall Season of 2016.

The new Puerto Rico club will bring a professional soccer club back to the island after the Puerto Rico Islanders left at the end of the 2012 season. After a three year break a club will be back, but in a new version as this club will be known as Puerto Rico FC, rather than the Islanders.

The new club will play at the same venue as the old club as they will play at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium, which has been remodeled since the Islanders played there. The capacity is now 12,500 seats and has created a more professional home ground for the Puerto Rico National Team.

The club brings some star power to the table to get some attention as NBA player Carmelo Anthony, with Puerto Rican ancestry, will be the owner of the club. “Through my Foundation, I have been coming to Puerto Rico for the past six years, restoring basketball courts in underprivileged communities. Today, I come back to the island – this time with the commitment of restoring professional soccer in Puerto Rico through the NASL,” said Anthony at the announcement press conference.

It seems that Puerto Rico FC will continue on some of the old traditions of the Islanders, not just playing in the same stadium. The club’s color scheme also appears to be the same with the club’s crest at the announcement also featuring orange and white like the Islanders.

Bringing back a professional club to the island should also prove a boost to the Puerto Rico national team. In the past, players for the Islanders became eligible for the Puerto Rico national team after two years residency on the island, as Puerto Rico is a US territory having a US passport is enough for eligibility. That history saw Puerto Rico build a competitive national team and they managed an appearance in the Gold Cup and fans will be hoping this Puerto Rico FC will build a similar tradition.