Crusaders Women Drop Hard Fought Battle vs Memphis

ORLANDO, FL - 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 Crusaders went into halftime level at 4-4, but were outscored 5-2 in the second half. Central Florida now moves to 0-1 on the season.

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.

The Crusaders will now have a week off before they host the Tampa Bay Strikers on Saturday, February 18th, while the Americans will travel to Fayetteville on the same day.