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MANCHESTER — The VT Fusion adds one win and one loss to the books in their inaugural season, with a 5-2 win against the Rhode Island Rogues and a 0-2 loss against the SUSA Football Club in Long Island this weekend

The Rhode Island Rogues came out strong in Saturday’s game at Applejack Stadium, working hard to control the ball in the first 10 minutes. After scoring on their own goal, Fusion demonstrated their patience and made adjustments to control the game’s tempo.

Fusion’s first goal came at the nineteen-minute mark when forward Cricket Basa snaked the ball through a sea of defenders to find teammate Brook Jenkins, who slammed the ball into the back corner of the net.

We also saw quite the performance from Manchester locals Hannah Pinkus and Grace Pinkus, who locked in two more goals before half-time thanks to assists by Nicole Oberlag and Aspen Pierson.

The self-proclaimed “Green Machine” did not show any signs of slowing once they returned for the second half. Less than ten minutes in, Brooke Jenkins fed the ball to Mallory Lloyd for the third goal of the night.

Hannah Pinkus locked in the night’s final goal at eighty-one minutes, thanks to an assist by Cricket Basa.

Following the game, VT Fusion Head Coach John O’Connor was highly pleased with the team’s performance. “Our flank play evolved today and brought us the dimension we needed to get this historic first win for the franchise.”

On Sunday, Fusion traveled to Long Island to play SUSA Football Club, a seasoned veteran of the Women’s Premier Soccer League. The first half was back and forth, and challenges on both sides made it an entertaining match-up.

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Fusion’s Riley Nichols hit the post just before half-time and forced the SUSA goalkeeper to make several good saves throughout the game.

Ultimately, SUSA outlasted Fusion’s defense, sneaking two goals into the net before the final whistle.

“We got some excellent performances from players either being asked to play heavier minutes or making their debuts in league play,” added O’Connor. “It was exciting to see the energy and enthusiasm as well as quality team play. We’ve progressed from our first game against the New York Shockers, and it should help us host them here this weekend.

“The second game of a back-to-back weekend is always tough,” continued O’Connor.

“I thought we showed great resilience and grit against a good team who has won their division the last three seasons.”

Fusion looks forward to playing at home against the New York Shockers this weekend, which aligns with their youth league’s annual Green Mountain Challenge tournament.

“It should be an electric atmosphere and one which the players will use to drive them in their performance,” concluded O’Connor. “Our fans at Applejack create a great home-field advantage!”

To buy a single ticket advance of the season, visit https://www.bigtickets.com/events/g/vt-fusion-soccer/. Prices range from $8 for premium, $5 for general admission seating, and $3 for general admission standing. All children enrolled in the Vermont Soccer League get in for free when accompanied by a valid ticket holder.

Michael Mawson can be reached on Twitter @Mawson_Sports or via email at mmawson@benningtonbanner.com.


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