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Photo courtesy: Dani Nicosia

Asheville City SC Defeats Athens FC 4-0 In All-Around Team Performance

By Mitch Stone, 05/30/24, 2:00AM HST


Photo courtesy: Dani Nicosia

The Women of Asheville extended their win streak to four as they defeated last-place Athens FC 4-0 at Greenwood Field on Wednesday night. The Blues move into first place with 12 points and sit three points above Tennessee SC, who currently have two games in hand.

Asheville possessed the ball well early on, combining in the middle and switching the field to create multiple chances within the first 15 minutes. In just the seventh minute, the Blues found their first goal of the night off of a superb piece of play from Juliana Viera and Addison Porter. Hovering near the left sideline, Viera calmly bent a cross into the running Porter, who quickly chested the ball down and smashed it on the bounce for her fifth goal of the season. 

In the 11th minute, Athens FC nearly equalized it when Mayra Sesmas lofted a cross to the back post, finding Taylor Lewin, who headed it just wide. Two minutes later, Asheville grabbed their second goal of the match in astonishing fashion. Following a Lucie Bertrand strike and a deflection, Aalborg academy product Gry Boe Thrysoe collected the ball in the middle of the box and hit a powerful half-volley into the net to make it 2-0 Asheville. 

The first half was a complete domination by the Women of Asheville, who created chance after chance in the final third. In the 19th minute, Viera almost scored her first goal of the season off of an amazing display of individual skill. Receiving a bouncing ball near the half, the Uruguayan quickly took the ball forward, combined for a 1-2 with Porter, and struck it first time off the bounce, forcing Athens FC goalkeeper Matilda Johansson to fully extend for the save. 

In the 36th minute, the Blues recorded their third goal thanks to an astounding piece of skill from Abigayle Morell. As Athens failed to clear a corner, Morell quickly gathered the ball away from goal and completed a mesmerizing step over, finishing the sequence with a clever chip over Johansson for her first goal of the season. 

Heading into halftime, Asheville wasn’t done quite yet. Following a giveaway in the middle of the pitch, Bertrand swiftly collected the ball, took a touch out wide, and struck a shot from far out past Johansson to make it 4-0 Asheville at the half. 

The second half was much less eventful than the first, as the Blues had essentially secured the victory, allowing them to give reserve players an opportunity ahead of next week’s crucial matchup against Tennessee SC. Bertrand nearly bagged a brace in the 59th minute when an awkward deflection off a 1-2 fell to her at the top of the box. The former France U19 international took it first time and smashed a bending shot towards the upper left corner, forcing an impressive save. 

Despite not finding the net, left winger Ruvimbo Mucherera had herself a performance, in which she constantly posed a threat on the left side, going at right back Gabriela Roses with speed and feeding crosses towards the back post. In the 78th minute, she nearly grabbed her first goal of the season off a curling strike from far out. 

The main headline of the second half involved academy product Alison Little, who made her team debut in the 79th minute. The 18-year old keeper, who is currently committed to UNC Asheville, kept a clean sheet for the remaining minutes of the match, sealing the 4-0 victory for the Blues. 

Alison Little checks in for her first cap on the First Team - May 29, 2024

Ahead of next week’s match against second-place Tennessee SC, coach Brooke Bingham stated “the team’s excited for it. They’re excited for the new challenges and excited for every challenge that we come across. So I think we just keep playing our game and moving forward. We’ll have a good week of training and some quality touches on the ball.”

The Women of Asheville will head to Nashville on June 4th for the heavyweight matchup against Tennessee SC with a first place spot on the line. Tennessee SC currently sits in second with 9 points and an impressive +22 goal differential. They will face Greenville Liberty SC on Saturday.