A Dutch Lions’ doubleheader kicked off with a WPSL match between Dayton and FC Pride on Saturday evening. A solid performance by the Lady Lions was reflected in the 1-0 final score. With the victory, Dayton finished the home half of their regular season with a perfect record.
Dutch Lions Head Coach Ian Richardson said, “Delighted to get our girls back in and back in our winning ways. Obviously we left a couple people out tonight. We rested up some bodies with the bigger picture being the playoffs”
Despite having clinched the WPSL Valley region championship a few weeks ago, it was important for Dayton to play well and notch a victory against the Pride. After starting the season with five consecutive victories, the Dutch Lions fell on the road to Fire and Ice Soccer Club in its last outing. Dayton needed to maintain a good run of form ahead of the playoffs.
“The last game we played was fantastic performance. It was just, unfortunately, we took a roster with no recognized forward in it. We always knew it was going to be difficult. The objective from the last game was to get through it injury free, and thankfully we managed that,” said Richardson.
He continued, “Today was similar, but obviously it’s important to keep the winning habit going. It’s nice to be able to say that we’re back up and running here, back in our winning ways.”
The Dutch Lions dominated the first half in every conceivable fashion except the scoreboard. FC Pride scarcely managed any possession, much less shots on goal. Dayton operated with plenty of space and was able to work the ball around and into dangerous places.
A duo from the University of Dayton and Wright State University combined for the only Dutch Lions goal in the 14th minute. Meghan Blank’s pass put Aaliyah Patten in a dangerous position in front of goal. Patten took one touch around the keeper and easily scored on an open net.
“The first half was arguably the best 45 minutes we’ve played all season,” said Richardson. “How the game was 1-0 at half was beyond me.”
The space that Dayton enjoyed in the first half was taken away by FC Pride in the second half. Possession was more even, and the visitors were very much in the match until the final whistle.
“The second half, it shows that there were a couple of players that haven’t played as many minutes. They were tired a little bit. The week off with July 4th was catching up to us,” said Richardson. “Nice to see within the group we’ve got intelligence to manage the game and see it out.”
The Lady Lions have one final regular season match before the playoffs begin. They will make the short trip down I-75 to face the Cincinnati Sirens at 7:00 PM, Friday, July 15. Dayton won the previous match 2-1.