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Updated: Jun 25

Late Braun heroics and a Lynch brace down Rochester in final home game

In their last home game of the season, River Light FC took down Rochester FC 3-1 after a dominating first half and a close final 15 minutes. 

“First off, great team win, the girls were definitely tired, it was hot,” keeper Blythe Braun said. “Today we really possessed a lot and worked through the back when I think that sometimes we could have gone forward more quickly.” 

River Light kept most of the possession in the opening minutes and the first half overall, waiting patiently for any potential attacks to develop in the final third. Rochester countered the Lights possessive play style with a low block that made it difficult for River Light to find anything in the opening frame.

Off a quick throw-in, Anya Gulbrandson ran down Rochester’s right flank, slipping past the final line of defense to meet the keeper head-on. With a good amount of time to choose her target, Gulbrandson lobbed a shot past Rochester for her third goal of the season. 

In the 28th minute and after a hydration break, Devin Lynch received the ball near the final third, switching her angle to get past her marker and aiming low to get past the Rochester keeper. 

River Light keeper Braun was never really needed in the first half, barely having to come out of the box or make a save. 

In the second half, Rochester shed some of their offensive shyness and looked more insistent on the attack. It was in one of these actions that left Lynch in a prime position to chip a high shot past the keeper, a shot that rebounded off the post and bounced into the empty net after six minutes of action. 

“The game plan didn't really change to be honest, we definitely knew that we had to move it up quicker,” Braun said. “We had people come off the bench and put in great efforts and do great work, but if anything we just put an emphasis on getting the ball forward faster.” 

Down by three, Rochester continued to generate opportunities that were quickly shot down by the Lights defense. With 13 minutes left, Rochester decreased the deficit after scoring on a counter and with a numerical advantage. 

Despite not getting much action in the first half, things changed in the second and Braun was there to halt a potential comeback. The keeper was instrumental in the second half, extinguishing two Rochester chances close to the end of the match.

In the 85th minute, Rochester’s striker slipped past the River Light back line, forcing Braun into a duel which the keeper saved with the tips of her fingers diverting the path of the ball and turning the play into a corner. 

“I try to think about what the player's body shape is showing me. Secondly, I look at where the defense is and what they're doing,” Braun said. “But most importantly, I really just try and keep the ball and just get hit by the ball, if nothing else.” 

As River Light continues to push for playoffs, only two games remain. The Lights will get a rematch against Chicago City SC and will end the regular season against the Chicago Dutch Lions FC. 

12: River Lights biggest win of the season with two separate braces

River Light FC hosted RKC Third Coast and defeated the Wisconsin-based side 12-0 at Spartan Athletic Park. After scoring five times in the first half, the Lights put up another seven in the second half to get the double over RKC this season. 

“It’s good momentum for the rest of the year,” Emily Roberts said. “Subs came in hot and kept going so I’m really excited for the next few games and looking forward to it.” 

Roberts earned the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Player of the Match award for her two assists and her lone goal against RKC. 

Sophia Skoubis got herself a brace in the first half with goals in the 4th and 32nd minute. First goal was off a corner and the second was from long range. Skoubis wasn’t the only one to score a brace as Devin Lynch came off the bench in the second half to score two in a six minute span. 

Lynch scored the ninth and tenth goal for River Light as she sneaked behind the backline, grabbed the rebound of her initial shot and chipped the ball past the keeper. From distance, Lynch pounded a top left corner effort past RKC.

Scoring their first goals for River Light were Edith Delgado, Gemma Gillespie, Ella Lamb, Shea Doherty, and Roberts.


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