Sanjaxx Lions competed vigorously with Woodbridge Strikers away at Vaughan Grove, but at the end of the day could not keep out the quality in the home side as the Strikers ran out 4-0 victors.
"It is a good start to the season for us," said Woodbridge head coach, Joe Parolini. "Last year we lost the season in the first few games because we didn't start well."
In her last match with Woodbridge before leaving for the professional ranks in Sweden, Woodbridge keeper Sarah Forde kept a clean sheet but was rarely tested. Instead, Strikers kept Sanjaxx hemmed into their own half for much of the match, and even when the Lions got forward their attacks were snuffed out by a well organized Woodbridge defence.
"The girls haven't trained a lot together but I think our young '99s that played today, along with the '98s that have trained all year, really came through for us, and as we got the experienced players in the game was better controlled and we had good possession," said Parolini. "It was good."
Katherine Herron (Photo: Martin Bazyl)
Centre-back Katherine Herron (43') opened the scoring with a gorgeous 30 yard shot that dropped sumptuously under the crossbar and just out of reach of Sanjaxx Gk Sarah-Anisha Bradbury.
Substitute Christabel Oduro (45') - fresh from a season in the German second division with Herforder SV - added a second for the home team before the interval after teammate Jessica Lisi threaded a perfectly weighted through ball into her path. Oduro simply rounded the onrushing Bradbury and finished on an open net.
Midfielder Dianna "Kiwi" Da Rocha (48') wasted no time in adding a third for the Strikers just after the break, lining up a free kick and stroking it low and outside the wall, clear of the diving Bradbury.
Pechereski (59') would complete the quattro for Strikers after a very nice high-tempo passing move with Oduro, threading the ball through for the striker on Sanjaxx's right flank before moving centrally, receiving the cut-back return pass, and bashing the ball away into the back corner.
Lisa Pecherisky (Photo: Martin Bazyl)
"Considering we are a pretty new team - many of the girls just arrived in the last couple weeks and we've only had a couple pre-season matches - I believe we played a game that was not as it appears on paper as a 4-0 loss," said Sanjaxx player Jalen Simms.
"We had a couple of defensive malfunctions and things we need to work on, setting up to defend free kicks etc., but as a team I thought we played pretty well. Going forward we should have a better chance of beating teams like this, or playing on par with teams like this."
Sanjaxx's attack gathered momentum in the late stages, but again the Woodbridge backline proved impenetrable and the points stayed in Woodbridge.
"At the end of the game we really showed that we could push through, and we had a lot more possession," added Simms. "It shows that we're here and fighting and we're not just going to let ourselves fall down and lose 4-0 without a fight."
Sarah Forde (Photo: Martin Bazyl)