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Williamsport City Lions women fall to New York Magic, 3-0 in final league game at home

EVAN WHEATON/Sun-Gazette Williamsport City Lions midfielder Mikaela Majcher winds back for a shot against the New York Magic at Penn College's UPMC Field Saturday. The City Lions fell, 3-0 in the final league home game in their inaugural season.

The Williamsport City Lions women’s club held a one-goal deficit for much of its game against the New York Magic on Saturday. But two goals within the final 11 minutes were enough for New York to work its magic.

The City Lions were shut out, 3-0 by New York at Penn College’s UPMC Field. The game was Williamsport’s last league contest at home in its inaugural United Premier Soccer League season.

“The first thing on my mind is all the effort the girls have put in. It’s been unbelievable, the amount of time they’ve put in on the training ground,” City Lions coach Ian Scheller said. “Starting a new club is so difficult and for them to come out and battle against some of the best teams in the area, I mean we’re talking about semi-professional clubs and Division I, Division II and Division III players, they’ve done unbelievably.”

Williamsport (0-3-2) made a pair of corner kicks within the first six minutes and had a few good looks offensively but weren’t able to finish between the pipes.

Magic (1-1-2) midfielder Kensia Destinvil dealt the first blow after scoring off a deflection in the 15th minute.

EVAN WHEATON/Sun-Gazette Williamsport City Lions defender Taylor Snyder works the ball around a New York Magic midfielder at Penn College's UPMC Field Saturday. The City Lions fell, 3-0 in the final league home game in their inaugural season.

“I think one thing we could’ve done to avoid that was put away our chances at the other end, because this opened us up in the back,” Scheller said. “We were shorthanded defensively and hey, sometimes in soccer the bounce goes for you, sometimes it’s against you.”

Destinvil saw many opportunities in and around the 18-yard box. In the waning minutes of the first half, she had a shot that sailed left of the net and a strike that went just over the crossbar.

Despite all the looks the Magic had, Williamsport trailed by one goal at the half and were getting outshot 11-7 with four keeper saves apiece.

“After going down 1-0, it’s even more difficult because you have to play on the front foot,” Scheller said. “With (Destinvil) able to find the half-space and be able to press into areas and force us into losing our shape sometimes, I mean you can’t speak enough to how well she played and we did our best to try and contain her.”

Montoursville grad Lily Saul made her debut for the City Lions and put together some quality possessions in the second half.

EVAN WHEATON/Sun-Gazette Williamsport City Lions forward Jacqueline Stokes meets the ball at midfield against the New York Magic at Penn College's UPMC Field Saturday. The City Lions fell, 3-0 in the final league home game in their inaugural season.

As the reigning Sun-Gazette Player of the Year and a 100-goal scorer in high school, Saul was getting back into the swing of the field after taking two silver state medals at the end of the track season.

“I hadn’t played soccer in a while, so it kinda took me a while to get back into things. But when I did, I felt really good,” Saul said.

Williamsport’s roster has been composed of numerous District 4 soccer players, like Claudia Green, one of three South Williamsport grads to have been rostered this season.

The familiarity between personnel has helped Saul — a University of Rhode Island track commit — click with the team in her first game.

“We’ve played against them before (in high school), or I played against some of the girls who are older than me,” Saul said. “And, I’ve played club with some of these girls too, so I think we connected a little bit.”

A penalty kick goal in the 79th minute allowed New York to pull away before Destinvil scored her second unassisted goal of the day with a far shot to the bottom right corner nine minutes later.

“When you try different things to offset someone’s impact on a game, she was stellar,” Scheller said on Destinvil. “She was on the ball, was able to run into space, cause all sorts of issues and was able to open us up every time.”

But even when she was contained, Destinvil opened up opportunities for her teammates. New York outshot Williamsport 22-13 with 11 of its shots being on goal as opposed to the City Lions’ seven.

“It’s a great starting point,” Scheller said. “Great building block for the future and it’s something I’m really looking forward to next year.”

NYM-Kensia Destinvil, 14:51. NYM-N/A PK, 79:23. NYM-Kensia Destinvil, 87:38.

Shots: NYM 22, WCL 13. Corners: NYM 3, WCL 4. Saves: NYM 6, WCL 8.

Records: New York 1-1-2, Williamsport 0-3-2.

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