Lianne Sanderson scored two goals to lead D.C. United over the Fredericksburg Impact 5-0 Wednesday night at the Maryland Soccerplex. Sanderson’s goals came in the span of three minutes, as D.C. went on a scoring spree early, scoring all five goals within the first half an hour.
Jerica DeWolfe started the spree when she knocked in a corner kick in the 9th minute. The corner kick was taken by Molly Menchel, who had one goal and two assists on the night.
Apparently practice does make perfect, as Menchel commented after the game.
“It was kind of funny because actually last night we had practiced a bunch of those, you know, corner after corner,” she said. “And we hit two in. It was nice to get some heads on them.”
Sanderson would score for D.C. United just three minutes later in the 11th minute. Sanderson chipped the ball over the keeper to give D.C. United the 2-0 lead. Carolyn Blank was credited with the assist.
Sanderson stuck again in the 13th minute off a ball from Mikaela Howell. After receiving the pass from Howell, Sanderson sent a hard strike in to the upper right of goal well out of reach of Impact keeper Karen Blocker.
Holly King would extend the lead to four in the 20th minute. King’s head found the end of a well-placed Menchel corner kick.
In the 27th minute D.C. United would find its fifth and final goal of the night. Molly Menchel scored the final goal off a cross from Ashley Herndon.
D.C. United would threaten the Impact goal a few more times before the end of the half, yet luckily for the Impact, D.C. United was unable to extend their lead.
As the score line suggests, the first half was pretty abysmal for the Fredericksburg Impact. They did manage a few offensive opportunities. In the 26th minute, a nice cross was sent from the left side, but the awaiting player was unable to get on the end of it.
The second half for the Impact was markedly improved. In fact, the Impact would only allow D.C. United one shot on goal in the half as compared to eight allowed in the first.
The Impact battled hard throughout the second half to try to thwart D.C.’s shutout. In the 89th minute of play, the Impact may have been rewarded from their efforts if not for some excellent 1 on 1 defending by D.C. United Captain Marisa Abegg to keep the Impact from getting a shot off.
After the game D.C. United Head Coach Mike Jorden was overall pleased with his team’s performance.
“We had a lot of performances when we played well, but we weren’t finishing,” he said. “Tonight we got the job done. Worked a bit on set pieces last night in training, got two off corners, and, you know, just finished. The second half was a bit disappointing, but we’ll take 5-0 any day.”
Sanderson echoed her coach’s sentiments.
“The best twenty minutes of football we’ve played all season,” she said, speaking of the period in which they scored all five goals. “I think it’s a great team performance. Obviously, I was happy to score two goals. The main thing is, we played really well.”
Sanderson admitted she was disappointed that the team was unable to extend the lead in the second half.
The Impact will surely mark July 1st on their calendars as they will face D.C. United again and will have the chance to avenge their lackluster first half.
“I think leaving this game the way we did is going to leave a lasting memory on our team,” Impact head coach Jen Woodie said. “Our division is competitive, but if I had to guess this is the game that we kind of look forward to. Not that we look past any others, but this is one that we definitely want to earn back, especially since the first half went so poorly.”
D.C. United faced off against the Virginia Beach Piranhas on Saturday night, with the match ending in a 1-1 tie. Thus, D.C. United’s remaining games, including the July 1st match against the Impact take on even more importance in D.C. quest for the playoffs.
The Impact also played to a tie on Saturday night, as their game against the Dayton Dutch Lions ended in a 2-2 tie.
D.C. United will be back in action on Tuesday as face the Northern Virginia Majestics. The Impact’s next game will be the July 1st match-up against D.C. United.
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