July 2, 2012
BIG GAME FEEL
Riley looks for intensity against playoff spot rival
The New York Fury will be looking to light some fireworks of their own when they take on the New England Mutiny at Hofstra on Tuesday at 7p.m., as part of a doubleheader that has the Long Island Fury playing the Mutiny Reserves at 4 p.m.
|NY Fury coach Paul Riley: "Tomorrow we can virtually guarantee ourselves a playoff spot with a win, and I hope we come out with a verve and energy level that is appropriate for this big-game occasion."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The New York Fury are closing in on a WPSL Elite playoff spot, and New England is their closest competitor, eight points behind them.
"Tomorrow we can virtually guarantee ourselves a playoff spot with a win, and I hope we come out with a verve and energy level that is appropriate for this big-game occasion," said New York Fury coach Paul Riley.
The team is still dealing with injuries to defender Kia McNeill and midfielder Sinead Farrelly, and also will have three other players unavailable for various reasons: Estelle Johnson, Tina DiMartino and Tobin Heath.
"Despite injuries I hope our back line can continue to get clean sheets," said Riley. "[Goalkeeper] Michelle Betos has provided the back line with a real ally and she has made some huge saves to keep us in games."
The Fury is coming off a 1-0 win over ASA Chesapeake last Thursday, with Meghan Lenczyk scoring the lone goal.
Riley says the team needs to be better in the penalty area and at creating chances.
"We have worked a lot with our midfield and forward line this week, and we are hoping we can get more ruthless in the box and more dynamic in the areas around it. We must step up our creative levels if we are to make an impact on the league. Three of our last four games are at home, and we will do our very best to be firing on all cylinders to ensure we make the playoffs and provide our fans with top-class entertainment."
The New England Mutiny (3-4-2) are still mathematically in the hunt for a playoff spot, with five games remaining and one in hand on the Fury, but their road would be made much tougher with a New York win on Tuesday. In their last outing, on June 24, they played to a 3-3 tie with the Western New York Flash on the strength of two first-half goals from Kate Howarth and one from Morgan Andrews.