2022/23 Matchweek 10 Review
Matchweek 10 in the National Futsal Premier League is in the books - Brusa FC stayed at the top of the Southwest Conference, while the Columbus Futsal Women split their weekend with a win at home and a loss on the road.
Keep reading for the play-by-play and clips of goals from this week's action!
COLUMBUS FUTSAL 11-4 VS. FUTSAL INDY
A big weekend in the Women's Division began with Columbus Futsal hosting Futsal Indy. As has frequently happened with both the men's and women's teams from Indy this season, they would start the game strongly but be unable to maintain their positive early performance.
They wouldn't hold the lead for long: less than a minute later, Kayla Steber dispossessed an Indy attacker and squared it to Erin Boulanger to tap in at the back post for her first of the night. Moments later, Columbus would take the lead and never looked back.
Dani Gunderson was allowed to travel a long way upcourt with the ball before finding Boulanger, whose square pass to Sara Richardson gave her one of the simplest goals she'll score in her career to make it 2-1 to the home side. A nice counterattack would quickly make the score 3-1: this time it was Larissa Ramos getting on the end of a Loren Gormley pass to score from close range.
Futsal Indy would answer through Johnson, skipping around and breaking through two tackles before firing a fierce drive into the bottom left corner to make the score 3-2 with ten minutes to play. Columbus would not be denied though, responding with Leanyeli Moreno fizzing a shot in at the near post. A fifth goal would come shortly afterward, with Mariah Whitaker getting on the scoresheet by scoring from 10 yards out. Futsal Indy called a timeout with the score at 5-2.
After winning two tackles in midfield, Dani Gunderson led a quick break and when Richardson's shot came back off the post, Gunderson got the goal she deserved by burying the rebound into the far corner. They would increase the deficit to 5 with only a few seconds left in the half - a nicely-worked goal beginning with Cayla Coleman in the back made its way to Boulanger open at the top of the penalty area, and she made no mistake firing in off the post.
The second half began with more of the same: Futsal Indy allowed the home side too much time and space, and their quick movement off the ball and crisp passing allowed close-range opportunities that the Indy goalkeeper could do nothing about. First, it was Boulanger hitting a one-timer in from the wing, then she popped up at the back post to head in Gormley's delightfully scooped pass at the back post.
Indy's response came through Hoffbauer and Johnson, with the two trading goals to bring the score back to 9-4. Johnson's threaded ball was nicely turned by Hoffbauer, and her shot from 20 yards was a bullet into the corner. Johnson's was the goal of the night and a genuine Goal of the Month contender: quick feet made room to shoot, and her shot was beautifully struck into the top left corner.
A Columbus timeout allowed the home side to regroup with about 9 minutes to play and they would regain control of the situation with Steber getting on the scoresheet after drilling a shot through the keeper's hands. The nail in the coffin came with Mroeno's second of the night after more good work from Gunderson regaining and redistributing the ball.
Overall, a great night for Columbus Futsal and an excellent start to the weekend before heading up to Michigan to take on 2nd-placed Grand Rapids OLé.
Grand Rapids OLé 5-0 Columbus Futsal
The game began evenly, with both teams trading chances and enjoying nice early passing moves. Columbus attacks would force Morgan Scholten into a number of nice saves, while Shelly Vargas hit the post with her left foot. With 6:20 left in the half, Grand Rapids OLé would break the deadlock - a miscommunication at the back for Columbus gave Citlali Luna an opportunity to smash one into the top corner. Despite having more chances and better chances and being largely the better team for the half, Columbus would go into the halftime break with a 1-0 deficit.
In the second half, Columbus continued to keep the game tight despite their shortage of substitutes, keeping Grand Rapids out for the opening 10 minutes and coming close to tying the game on more than one occasion. When the second goal did come for the home side it opened the floodgates and sapped the exhausted Columbus players. Haley Dehaan's pass to the wing found Vargas, and her quick turn and toe poke smashed the ball into the Columbus net. Vargas would get it to 3-0 just a minute later, capitalizing on a turnover in the Columbus half and scoring from distance.
At 3-0 with under 7 to play, the game was likely over. Columbus would continue to put up a fight, but the 4th goal from Khloe Koelling truly put the game to bed with under 5 to play. Flying the keeper for Columbus only brought more trouble, as Citlali Luna got her second of the night, chipping the backpedaling keeper from halfcourt and bringing the score to 5-0.
An emphatic victory for Grand Rapids OLé that keeps them firmly in second place in the Women's Division - however, it was a great performance from Columbus that they'll be encouraged by and they'll certainly be looking forward to hosting Grand Rapids at Westwood Fieldhouse in a few weeks.
Brusa FC 5-3 San Diego Voyagers
The lone Men's Division match pitted Brusa FC at home against the San Diego Voyagers. A win for the Voyagers would've sent them top of the division, but Brusa FC were able to sink them at home in a game that opened up a 4-point gap at the top of the NFPL Southwest.
15 scoreless minutes were characterized by quality play from both sides, with the defense sticking tight to the attackers causing numerous blocked shots from dangerous positions. While Brusa may have enjoyed a slight advantage in possession, they had to be wary of quick Voyagers counterattack that nearly exposed them on the break.
Brusa FC would open the scoring with Jonnathan Segura intercepting a pass in his own box and traveling the length of the court before finding the far corner with just under 5 minutes remaining in the first half. Two-and-a-half minutes later, Segura scored again, chipping the keeper beautifully after winning a tackle near midcourt to double the home side's advantage.
It looked like the teams would go into halftime with just a two-goal difference, but Voyagers undid themselves again, an unsettling trend for the San Diego futsal club this season. An errant cross-court pass gave Joel Vedamanika the opportunity to pounce and his interception was played to Segura in front of the net. His back-heel assist was lovely as Micah Vasey smashed it into the net from close range, a truly excellent note for the home side to finish the half on.
Brusa FC led 3-0 at the half, but the game was far from over. The opening ten minutes of the second half were better for the Voyagers, although they still couldn't break through the defense led by goalkeeper Jared Wilson. His big save around the 10-minute mark gave Brusa FC the chance to hit Voyagers on the counter, and they did to devastating effect. Once again, Segura was at the heart of everything the home team did well, finding Joey Fuller alone on the wing. His initial effort was saved, but he was able to bundle the ball across the line to take a 4-0 lead.
With under 5 to play and hunting for any good chance, the Voyagers flew the goalie and Brusa FC were able to score from half-court after a misplaced pass doomed the Voyagers, with Vasey providing the finishing touch.
The Voyagers' late attempt at a comeback would be too little, too late. 3 goals under the 3-minute mark might have instilled a bit of fear into the home side, but they were able to see out the result and get the points they needed. They might be wary of the effect those 3 goals have on their goal differential by the end of the season, but if they keep winning then it won't matter and they won't care!
Rubem Miranda scored the first for the Voyagers, turning quickly in the box and toe-poking it into the top shelf. Ranier Platinos scored a half minute later, finishing off a lethal counterattack after Josue Galvez found him unmarked in the middle to score. A scrappy finish from Brayan Pabon with under a minute to play had the home fans nervous, but they were able to see out the game with no more goals to ensure all 3 points.