SeaLions Shut Out Ajax in First League Match of the Season
May 19, 2013
The San Diego SeaLions opened their 2013 WPSL campaign with a 4-0 win on the road today against Ajax at Nansen Field.
The SeaLions got on the board early. Center back Nikki Krzysik played a ball up the right flank, behind the Ajax defense to oncoming midfielder Jacquelyn Witz. Ajax goalkeeper Whitney Joslin took Witz down in the box, drawing a yellow card and penalty kick for the SeaLions. Witz, a bit shaken from the hit was able to brush it off and take the PK, which she fired past Joslin into the bottom left corner of the net, putting the SeaLions up 1-0 in the 5th minute.
Ajax got an opportunity several minutes later, when a failed collection attempt by the SeaLions' defense was scooped up by an Ajax player who shot it just wide of the goal.
In the 30th minute, SeaLions' midfielder Britney Snook sent in a cross from the right corner, which found Alicia Piz on the back post. Piz got a foot on it and put it away, giving the SeaLions their second goal of the half.
Fourteen minutes later, Ajax got a break away, and SeaLions' goalkeeper Kaycee Gunion came off her line for the challenge. The Ajax attacker chipped the ball over Gunion's head, but Krzysik was on the line and able to head it out, preserving the SeaLions' 2-0 lead going into halftime.
The SeaLions dominated the start of the second half, holding Ajax in their defensive end and getting several good chances on goal. In the 55th minute, Gunion punted the ball, which deflected off the head of an Ajax player and landed at the feet of Jacquelyn Witz. Witz found herself 1 v 1 with Ajax keeper Joslin, but was able to slot it past her into the far left corner of the net, making it 3-0 San Diego.
The final goal of the game came in the 75th minute, when defender Jayme Cargnoni ran onto a loose ball and rocketed it with her left foot into the back of the net.
"It was a physical game", said SeaLions' center midfielder Rosie Tantillo. "I feel we were the fitter side, and as a result we were able to dominate and win most of the balls which put us in great scoring situations."
SeaLions Head Coach Jen Lalor-Nielsen was happy with the result. "It was a great start to the season," stated Lalor-Nielsen. "We were all excited to play our first league game, and of course getting a win on the road is not an easy task. We handled the pressure extremely well today, and the physical style Ajax tried to play brought out a disciplined and focused side of the girls that was nice to see. The maturity and confidence this team is showing early on is truly impressive and inspiring to watch. We are taking the season one game at a time, and I'm happy that we were able to get the job done today."
The SeaLions hit the road again on Saturday, June 1 for an inter-league exhibition match against FC Golden State at 5:00 p.m.. The SeaLions had another inter-league exhibition match scheduled with the Houston Aces at home on Tuesday, June 4th, but Houston's GM Catherine Brumbaugh canceled the match today, claiming her team's schedule was too packed to accommodate the friendly.
The SeaLions' home opener is set for Sunday, June 9 at 2:00 p.m. versus Ajax at Cathedral Catholic High School. The National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF) will be at the game collecting donations to help the sick and starving sea lion pups that have been stranding on Southern California beaches since the start of the year.