Kelli McGroarty and Maddison Bee combined for six goals and each tallied an assist as they led SJEB FC to a commanding 8-3 win over Old Dominion Cesena in the WPSL opener last Saturday.
Bee opened the scoring in the first half by capitalizing on a goalmouth scrum before McGroarty doubled the advantage on a nice through-ball from Jordan Siok.
The two stars of Saturday’s show combined on a selfless play for the third goal, all within the first half. Bee found herself in a one-on-one with Old Dominion’s goalkeeper, but instead decided to dish it to McGroarty for a wide-open tap-in.
Old Dominion didn’t make things easy for the Elite Barons, however. An absolute screamer got the home side off the mark before half time, and Bee’s second was the only reprieve for SJEB FC before Old Dominion notched two more, assuring SJEB FC would have to work the rest of the way with the score at 4-3.
However, four unanswered goals sealed the deal for South Jersey, including an amazing bit of skill from McGroarty on the right flank.
On top of the win, the season opener marked the first time many of the SJEB FC players had played together, including Bee and McGroarty. According to the latter, that just made it a more enjoyable experience.
“It was fun, we got to play with a whole bunch of new people,” McGroarty said. “We got to play the whole game, and it was our first time playing together,”
McGroarty is coming off of her freshman season with La Salle, while Bee completed her sophomore campaign with Temple. Many of the other players on the team come from the surrounding universities, making the transition much easier for the group.
“I think that we were all able to adjust to each other, because we have all seen each other play before, even if we haven’t been on the same team,” Bee said. “Everyone here is a high-level player, so we all have that trait of being able to adapt to one another.”
SJEB FC will continue its WPSL season on Saturday against the Washington Dutch Lions. The match will kick off at 6 p.m. at Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va.