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Ottawa Fury - Conference Final [R]

Bill Ault

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Fury Tame Stallions

Ottawa wins Eastern Conference Championship.

[August 3rd - Ottawa] The Ottawa Fury led by Aisha Alfa's hat trick advanced to the W-League Championships in Virginia Beach next weekend with a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Lady Stallions at Keith Harris Stadium today. Eilish McConville added the other goal for the Fury.

The Fury came storming out after the opening whistle and scored just 11 minutes into the game when Alfa scrambled the ball over the line after a Fury corner kick. Four minutes later Alfa made it 2-0 when she chipped the goalkeeper with a first time effort off a pass from Kelly Parker.

The tables turned suddenly at the 30 minute mark when the Lady Stallions got back into the game when Esmerelda Negron rounded the right side of the Fury back line and broke in alone on Kyla Clark in the Ottawa goal. Negron made no mistake on her finish tucking the ball just inside the back post. Seven minutes later things were deadlocked at 2-2 when a first time volley by Sue Flamini evaded a diving Clark on the left side.

The heat definitely took its effect on both teams in the second half and for the Fury already four players short due to international call ups it was and especially grueling task. Coach Frank Lofranco was definitely limited in his options but after bringing on Laura Harper for Christine McCartney just before the half and then McConville on for Kelly Parker early in the second half. Harper set up Alfa for the eventual game winner in the 53rd minute springing her loose with a nice through ball on the right side allowing Alfa to go one on one with the Stallions goalkeeper and slot home her finish.

With the heat and fatigue becoming a factor for both teams the game lost much of its pace and settled into a mid-field struggle. Finally in the 75th minute McConville settled matters sliding home a inch perfect shot to make the final 4-2.

The Fury now head to Virginia Beach where they will face the Chicago Cobras in one semi-final on Friday night. The other semi-final will see the Seattle sounders tangle with the host Hampton Road Mariners. The two winners will meet in the championship final on Sunday.

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