The Blues took home a 1-0 win against the Charlotte Eagles of the WPSL on Saturday, June 19th at Greenwood Field. This marks the first time in club history that Asheville City has defeated the Charlotte Eagles.
Asheville City Soccer Club celebrated 20 years of the historic Asheville Splash at this home game. The Splash pioneered soccer in the area beginning in 2001. Notably, Asheville City owners Meghann Burke, Stacey Enos, and Lydia Jackson played on the original Splash team.
The Blues sought revenge on Saturday after falling to the Charlotte Eagles 3-0 on Wednesday night. The Blues looked crisper during the first half of this game than they did the last time these two teams faced.
In the 20th minute, Michaela Moran leaped in the air for a beautiful save that had the South Slope Blues roaring. Later, in the 30th minute, Bianca Canizio found a chance that was picked up by the Eagles keeper.
In the second half, Asheville City and the Eagles continued to struggle for offensive control. Finally, in the 80th minute, Emma Dawson earned a foul in the box. Eagles player Mackenzie Smith was injured in the process and walked off the field. Dawson calmly converted the penalty with authority sending the home support into a frenzy.
“My heart rate came down a little bit when I saw Emma step up for the PK,” head coach Carolyn Warhaftig said. “I knew she’d have this confidence and be able to carry herself with composure and grace.”
The PK marked Dawson’s first goal of the season. This season is Dawson’s first with the club. She plays her college soccer as a midfielder at the University of Virginia.
“She is a quiet leader of this team. She carries herself with this quiet confidence and intensity. Being there in a clutch moment is everything you look for in a player,” Warhaftig said.
After the clutch goal, the Blues held off the Eagles, securing their 1-0 win. When it comes to the rest of the season, goalkeeper Michaela Moran feels confident in the team’s ability to win and to have fun as a unit.
“Honestly, when I first came here I didn’t know what to expect but we had so much fun together. When we are just able to relax and play the way we know how it makes the game easy. It is just so much fun to play here,” Moran said.
The win sees the Blues strengthen their hold on second place in the division with two games in hand and in great position to challenge for both a playoff spot and regular season division title.
Asheville City's men's team took a tough defeat on the road Saturday night, losing to Southern Soccer Academy in Atlanta. The Blues are still in contention for a top-three playoff position in the division, but must begin converting opportunities into points again beginning on Tuesday night at Greenwood Field against East Atlanta FC.