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Future FC Women 2-1 Winners Over AMSG in a Cagey Affair

AJ Hennessy Steps Up Big With Two Quality Goals
Published Jun 12, 2023

June 11, Santiago High School, Corona, Ca.- In its first home game of the season, the Future FC Women didn't disappoint the home crowd, many wearing the clubs neon training top in support of the home team, winning by a narrow 2-1 scoreline.  The game proved to be a cagey affair from the start with AMSG settling in quickly and forcing the Future FC defensive corp to make critical timed tackles and clearances.  When the defense was breached, Mikayla OBrien once again stepped up making two key saves early in the first half.

"Sometimes that's the way the game goes.  You need to be able to weather the storm a bit to allow everyone to catch up to the speed of the game and find their rhythm; that's why it's critical to have a strong mentality and big plays to keep you in it.", said the Future Head Coach, Shayon Jalayer.  

The Future first goal came off the heels of strong attacking move by AMSG that was cleared out of the box to the feet of Lalli Alonso, who did well to draw the foul on top of her own box.  Jenna Studer played a quick free kick into Jordan Salinas who sprayed the ball wide to Tara Oper.  Oper, who had been stifled early in the game when trying to push wide past her defender, instead took her defender inside.  Oper, driving across the AMSG box played the ball to the right edge to Alonso, who neatly flicked it on in one touch to AJ Hennessey, who popped the ball up and slamming a half volley into the AMSG upper right corner to give the Future FC Women a 1-0 lead at the 20 minute mark.

The game continued with its ebb and flow with both teams battling it out for midfield dominance.  In the 36th minute, AMSG attempting to build their attack in their own half, saw a pass intercepted by Taya Townsell.  Townsell quickly played into midfielder Rilee Harmon who played a ball into AJ Hennessey on top of the AMSG box.  Hennessey, darting and weaving couldn't find her way into the opposition box, but instead uncorked another banger from 18 yards out to put the home team up 2-0.

The Future FC Women headed into the locker room with what seemed to be a comfortable lead.

At the half the Future Coaching Staff opted to make only one change, bringing in Big West Defensive Player of the Year from Cal State Fullerton, Megan Day in place of Kennedy Hackbarth.  Megan Day moved to Center Back to partner with Studer, while Peraza moved wide.  Head Coach Jalayer commenting on the change said, "We felt we needed to be a little more conservative in the second half knowing that AMSG would have to come out and play a bit more aggressive going forward and throw more numbers at us. We knew that we would probably concede possession but also felt we could catch them on the break."

The second half played out as predicted.  AMSG began to dominate the ball and began creating chances down the right channel of the Future defense.  Conversely the Future Women found several opportunities to put the game out of reach but were unlucky not to see the ball go into the back of the net.  The first came midway through the half when Tara Oper, once again finding success penetrating from her right to left, unleashing a shot that beat the AMSG Goalkeeper, but not her post, as the shot hit the far post and back into play.  Minutes later Hennessey snuck around her defender on the endline and opting to shoot had the AMSG defenders sliding to make the clearance.  With 15 minutes to go, it seemed that the Future FC Women unlocked the AMSG defense, when Olivia Peraza floated in a perfectly weighted ball onto the head of Rilee Harmon, who headed low and hard into the AMSG net, only for her goal to be disallowed by an incorrect offside decision by the Assistant Referee.  

Only minutes later AMSG succeeded in doing what no team had done in 348 minutes this season and that's score a goal against the stingy Future FC defense.  The play started with a ball played into the wide area forcing Studer to come out to clear the ball.  The AMSG attacker doing well to ride the challenge, found herself with space down the right flank.  Although the Future defense had the numbers in the box, the perfectly weighted cross found the AMSG winger stepping in and timing her jump to perfection, heading into the opposite corner beating Mikayla OBrien for the first time this season.  The goal however, came too late, and the Future FC Women were able to play out the remaining minutes uneventfully.

With the win, the Future FC Women stand undefeated with a record of 4-0-0 scoring 13 goals and only conceading 1.  Next up they play the talented So Cal FC team, who in the 2023 Spring Season were crowned champions.

Vice Captaiin, Olivia Peraza commenting on the match said, "Going into this weekends game we all knew it was going to be tough.  We made sure to come together and focus on competing at our best.  The game was exciting, with a lot of back and forth action.  I think collectively, from our Goalkeeper to our front line, we did our part to get this big win. I'm excited to see what we have for the rest of the season!'

As always follow us here and our social media platforms for news and updates.  The Women are back at Santiago High School on June 18, 4pm.