FRISCO, Texas – Although it was the first game of the season and not a sanctioned ECNL game for the second-year FC Dallas U-23 Women’s ECNL team, their win today was a pretty significant one.
The match started out relatively evenly matched between FC Dallas and the Fort Worth Panthers of WPSL until the 27th minute when an FC Dallas goal knocked the game wide open. After several failed shot attempts, midfielder Meghan Streight cleaned up a ball and slotted it in the right corner of the goal for the first strike of the young season.
The next FC Dallas goal came in the 44th minute and it was a goal that does not happen often. Katie Daigle took a page out of one of the FCD first teamer's book, doing her best Michel impression as she sent in a corner kick that ended up in the goal accomplishing an ‘olimpico’ to double the FCD lead.
In the first half alone, Dallas had seven shots on goal while their opponent only had one. Dallas also controlled the ball for most of the half with 58% possession in the first 45 minutes.
Less than ten minutes into the second half came FC Dallas’ third goal. Belicia Mendiola, a U-18 player, dribbled the ball up the field and took a shot from 20 yards out sending it into the upper right corner of the goal. Head coach Ben Waldrum was very happy with the younger girls’ performance on the team.
“I’m pleased with the fact that [Belicia Mendiola] scored and I also thought Addison McCain, a U-16 player had a great game. I was really happy with the [younger girls],” he said.
FCD's fourth and final goal came just four minutes after the third goal when forward Amanda McMullan beat her defenders and scored on a nice shot from 15 yards out.
The second half proved to be a better one statistically for Dallas as they had nine shots on goal and had possession of the ball 68% of the half. Waldrum was much more pleased with the team’s second half performance than in the first half.
“We went back and tried to correct and clean up a few things," said Waldrum. "I think the midfield in general was much better in the second half.”
All four Dallas goals were scored by different girls.
“If we stay true to what we do, a lot of different things are going to open up for a lot of different people. We have a group of girls with a very attacking mindset,” Waldrum said.
As for the future of the team, there will be some cuts that will be made in the upcoming week. The team had a lot of different players that were on and off the field today so the coaching staff could take a look at a few players and make some decisions.
“As a staff we’ve got some interesting discussions about the lineup," Waldrum admitted. "The girls definitely didn’t make my job [cutting players] easy.”
Next up, the girls take on Lonestar SC U-23 ECNL at Burroughs Park in Houston on Saturday May 31st.