Houston TTI showed their skill and speed as they managed a second half come back to defeat San Antonio Athenians 3-1 at San Antonio FC on Sunday afternoon at Blossom Soccer Complex.
A good ball from Marlene Campa forced former Houston Dash goalkeeper Hayley Carter to come off her line. That allowed Allison Fahey to run on to the ball, rounding Carter and finishing it easily with an open net.
“I think that was Allison Fahey’s ability to read the play,” said Athenians head coach Vida Mohagheghpour, “She was just able to use her speed, I don’t think anyone saw her making that run.”
Houston TTI got a perfect start to the second half scoring in the 47th minute, catching Athenians off guard. Farida Machia was able to get on to the ball and shoot powerfully past the keeper to restore parity.
Houston TTI took the lead after the Athenians defense left far too much space for Jessica Booksby. That allowed her to control and then shoot past Lopez who was left with little help from her defense.
In the 82nd minute TTI sealed the match when a corner allowed them to play their corner play rushing back from the goal line. That allowed Cassidy Blanchard to get back and jump highest heading it across the face.
“That’s a play we see, it’s just about who can get up to that ball and clear it out, ideally the goalkeeper and sometimes it doesn’t work.” Said Mohagheghpour.
TTI had the bulk of the early chances and in the eighth minute they had a shout for a penalty as Jessica Booksby went down. That challenge was from Treena Ferguson but it was perfectly timed and all ball, the referee calling play on.
There was an interesting set piece delivery from TTI in the 16th minute when they had a corner, putting five on the goal line as it was taken. They then ran out like a field hockey corner but couldn’t get it in to the back of the net.
Rebecca Mays should have put Athenians 1-0 up in the 24th minute after a perfectly weighted ball was played to her from Allison Fahey. Galan’s touch was heavy, allowing TTI to get in the way and put it out for a corner.
Athenians got out of jail in the 29th minute when an error at the back allowed TTI in at goal, the initial deflection falling to Booksby. Booksby got a strong shot away but was denied by a phenomenal save from Gaby Lopez turning it on the bar, which allowed Athenians to clear.
“She had a really great game, regardless of the score, Lopez made a number of great saves.” said Mohagheghpour.
Lopez kept the match scoreless in the 40th minute when the defense left Brooksby wide open in the box. Brooksby shot but was denied by Lopez at full stretch to keep her side in front her second spectacular save of the half.
TTI should have taken the lead in the 55th minute when Jordan Jackson was given too much space after a poor challenge. That opened up the space for Jackson to take the shot but she curled it away from the goal.
In the 69th minute Lopez kept the match level through another stunning save, after the shot was put much too closely to her. Just two minutes later she was at it again as Lopez was at full stretch to make a save along the ground before smothering the rebound.
Katieann Lochte very nearly pulled a goal back for the Athenians in stoppage time as she found space on the edge of the area. She was denied by a strong save down low by Carter which kept it 3-1, the final score.