Desoto County Sports

Memphis Americans split at Central Florida

Women win second straight, men fall to Crusaders in overtime

Sunday, Feb. 5

NISL soccer

  • (Men) Central Florida 9, Memphis Americans 8 (overtime) (box score)
  • (Women) Memphis Americans 9, Central Florida 6 (box score)

Central Florida Crusaders release

Central Florida 9, Memphis Americans men 8 (overtime)

It took just 29 seconds in the overtime period for Rapha Tobias to net the game-winner for the Central Florida Crusaders, as they beat the Memphis Americans 9-8 on Sunday night. 

After tying the game up late with Maycon França scoring his third goal of the night, Tobias would finish off his hat-trick, beating Americans’ goalkeeper Piotr Sliwa on the counter-attack, sealing an opening day win for the hometown team.  

It was a long road to get to that point, as Memphis started the game strong with a goal from Maxi Galizzi in the opening five minutes. The Crusaders would respond with França’s first goal of the game, followed up by goals from Eduardo Cruz and Victor Rada, taking a lead into the second quarter. 

Giovanni Alvarado and Djordje Djordjevic would score two in a row for the visiting Americans to re-take the lead before Tobias netted his first two goals back for Central Florida. Memphis Head Coach Corey Adamson would add one back to make it 5-5 at the halftime break.

Memphis would start the third quarter on a tear, taking a commanding three-goal lead thanks to strikes from Djordjevic, Adamson, and Giovanni Alvarado, but again the Crusaders would battle back with Rada scoring at the end of the third and then França scoring two in the last six minutes of the fourth to send it to overtime.

Memphis Americans women 9, Central Florida 6

In their first-ever game in NISL Pro, the Central Florida Crusaders women’s team held tough against the defending champions, the Memphis Americans, ultimately falling 9-6 on Sunday afternoon. 

The teams went into halftime level at 4-4, but Memphis outscored the Crusaders 5-2 in the second half. Central Florida now moves to 0-1 on the season and Memphis is 2-0.

Yvonne Hayes, the Crusaders’ first signing on the women’s side, scored the first goal in team history, putting the home side up early in the first. Memphis would respond thanks to Kelsey Keown’s penalty kick, as the first quarter ended all square at one goal apiece.

The second quarter would see six goals scored in total, three on each side. Alivia Gonzalez, Lorna Maudslay and Nicole DiPerna would get tallies for the Crusaders, while Bruna Leiria and Louise McGirt, twice, would score for the visitors.

The second half is when the Americans would begin to take over. After Hayes and Kristen Sparks would trade goals to start the third quarter, Cheyenne Smith and McGirt would score to give Memphis a two-goal lead heading into the fourth.

The Crusaders got a goal back right at the early stages of the game thanks to Gonzalez’s second of the game, but the home side went scoreless for the final 10 minutes of the quarter. On the other side, Molly Martin scored a brace within five minutes to seal the game for the reigning champs.

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