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Steel City FC women break down Flower City Union, 2-1, for comeback win

On a hot afternoon, Steel City FC’s women’s squad stormed back for two late second half goals to overcome Flower City Union, 2-1, on a hot Sunday afternoon at Founders Field.

After a scoreless first half, the scoring started with Flower City taking the lead in the 56th minute.  The home side didn’t panic, racing back with a pair of goals from EMily Graeca and Maddie DeLucio.

Graeca’s equalizer came in the 76th minute, on a penalty kick conversion, while DeLucio converted a corner kick in the 87th minute to push Steel City (3-1-1, 10 points) to another three points and past Flower City in the UWS Group A standings.

All it took to hit the game winner was a little bit of composure.
“When I saw the ball from the corner pop up over everyone and come to me I knew I had to stay composed and make the simple finish,” DeLucio said.
“It was an awesome feeling seeing the ball hit the back of the net. My whole team and I were ecstatic and we can’t wait for playoffs!”

Once again, Payton O’Malley made a few saves in preserving the win in goal for Steel City.

DeLucio knew that some added perseverence in playing through the hot weather and trailing in the second half, only helped test her team’s resolve.

“Today’s game was a hot one, but we all played for one another and were able to come out and get the win. We had a ton of opportunities and good chances in the game. I can’t wait to continue to grow as a team,” DeLucio said.

Looking at his team’s ability to respond to falling behind, Head Coach Tom Ovenden was very pleased with his club’s resliency despite a tough challenge from Flower City Union.

“We had a strong start, came out of the blocks really well, and created lots of chances, but each one we missed created more and more pressure. We got out of our comfort zone a little bit and started to panic. We lost our way a little bit and let Flower City in. They battled really hard with no subs,” Ovenden said.

With a few halftime adjustments, Steel City found a way to stay on the front foot, even when trailing in the second 45 minutes.

“In the second half, we actioned some of the changes that we discussed at halftime and came out and solved their press many times to finally get our opening goal through another penalty,” Ovenden added.

“I’m proud of the Women’s resolve. Flower City was very hard to break down and did very well, but I felt we got the goals that we deserved from the many chances we had.”

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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