Bayor paces Majestics to win

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Northern Virginia Majestics (6-5-0) bested the Greensboro Twisters 3-0 on Saturday in a match that featured two goals from Ghana National Team player Adjoa Bayor.

Northern Virginia’s Jennifer Farina added a third goal but it was the near flawless defense from the Majestics that highlighted the game.

The first half began with a quick push from the Greensboro front-runners in an attempt to get a quick goal. Northern Virginia countered with a composed defense, calmly collecting the ball from the Twisters offense and switching the flow of play from side to side. Elizabeth Baidu (Ghana National Team) and Colleen Knight (William and Mary) led the Majestics defense, establishing control in the middle of the back line and coordinating quick counterattacks at the Greensboro goal.

The Majestics scored on one such counterattack in the 43rd minute when Knight sent a long ball through the left side to the speedy Ghanaian Basilea Amoah-Tetteh. Amoah-Tetteh deftly maneuvered through two Twister defenders to find herself facing Greensboro keeper Heather Bridgewater.

Amoah-Tetteh blasted a shot off of a sprawling Bridgewater, collected the rebound, and slotted a pass across the goalmouth to fellow countrywomen Bayor. Bayor easily scored for the 1-0 advantage.

The Majestics defense continued to dominate into the second half, never allowing a serious threat on the Northern Virginia goal. In the 68th minute, Bayor knifed through the Twister back line to intercept a defensive pass near midfield. With only one defender to beat, Bayor tapped the ball over Greensboro defender Quinn Reynolds and collected her own pass in a sprint to the goal.

Faced with the one-on-one, keeper Bridgewater raced off her line to shut down the attempt. Bayor launched a high shot from 25 yards out that sailed over Bridgewater and into the Greensboro goal for a 2-0 lead.

The Twisters put pressure up front in the final 20 minutes of the match, trying desperately to get on the scoreboard. The Majestics countered with offensive pressure of their own. Majestic Jennifer Farina capped the scoring with a goal in the final minute of the match. Northern Virginia’s Sara Power (Auburn University) led Farina on a crisp pass that split the Twisters defense. Farina sprinted straight through the middle and fired the ball past Bridgewater for the final tally.

The victory kept the Majestics in third place heading into the final three matches of the regular season. The Majestics are still in a tight playoff race with Jacksonville, Greensboro, and Asheville for an Atlantic Division berth.

“I couldn’t be happier with what we showed tonight,” said Head Coach Hank Leung. “With players starting in positions they weren’t accustomed to, they really stepped up their game and delivered. With four regular starters unavailable for this match, I think we’ve shown a tremendous amount of depth in our roster.”

Northern Virginia returns home on Wednesday to face the Maryland Pride. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Forest Park High School.

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