June 5, 2022
USL-W Regular Season Match
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Kayla’s Late Goal Earns City a Point
On a Sunday afternoon that began gray and drippy, City hosted Kings Hammer FC. Kings Hammer FC is a soccer program operating in Covington, KY, with youth, premiere, and academy programs. Their men’s team play in USL 2, and currently have a 2-win, 1-draw, 2-loss record. The Women’s team visiting us this day are at the floor of the 8-team Great Lakes Division with 0 wins, 1 draw, and 4 losses. They have only scored 2 goals in their five matches.
Today’s fixture began the Northern Guard Supporters Prideraiser campaign. For the month of June, supporters pledge a dollar amount for every City goal scored at Keyworth in both the Men’s and Women’s matches. The money raised will then be donated to the Ruth Ellis Center, a center providing trauma-informed services for lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth and young adults, with an emphasis on young people of color experiencing homelessness, involved in the child welfare system, and/or experiencing barriers to health and well-being. The five City matches during the campaign are today’s DCFC Women’s vs Kings Hammer FC match, DCFC Men’s vs Sacramento Republic FC on DCFC Women’s vs AFC Ann Arbor on DCFC Men’s vs El Paso Locomotive on DCFC Women’s vs Midwest United on
Since 2017, the annual campaign has contributed nearly $96,000 to Ruth Ellis Center.
Kings Hammer FC
Abby Weller – GK
Detroit City FC’s
Front Row, Left to Right.
Madison Duncan – Midfielder
Brynn Gardner – Forward
Bethany Kopel – Goalkeeper
Margaret Berry – Defender
Ellie Pool – Forward
Back Row, Left to Right.
Shannon McCarthy – Midfielder
Emilie Gardner – Defender
Brooke Sleeva – Forward
Isabella Sabo – Midfielder
Kenna White – Forward
Elisa Baeron – Defender, Captain
After Ellie Pool’s 6th minute dangerous corner kick that bounced through the box, Kings Hammer dominated the half. In the 8th minute, keeper Bethany Kopel came off her line to thwart a pass by Olga Massombo into the run of a Kings Hammer forward. Bethany is making her second start between the sticks this season. Her four-year Big Ten career with Indiana University is legendary. Second in career saves (283), sixth in career goals against average (1.22), first in career shutouts (22), and second in victories (28).
Kings Hammer drew first blood in the 11th minute. Annie Greene intercepted a City pass in their defensive zone, and passed it to Jade Rehberger. Rehberger one-touched it forward to Olga Massombo, who beat two converging defenders. Massombo chipped it just above Kopel’s reaching arms and into the net.
Six minutes later, Kings Hammer doubled their lead. Lilly Yordy threw the ball in from the out-of-bounds line in City’s end, finding Annie Greene. Greene out-muscled the City defender with her back to goal, then positioned herself at the top of the box. She curled the ball high and into the net just inside the far post. Seventeen minutes into the match, Kings Hammer had scored as many goals as they had in the previous 450 minutes of their season.
In the 20th minute, after City had generated some activity on the offense, Kings Hammer earned a corner kick. The kick floated into the box, beyond Bethany Kopel. It struck a City defender and ricocheted toward the open net, but Shannon McCarthy made a goal-line headed save, clearing the ball from danger.
With the first half ending 2-nil in Kings Hammer’s favor, the line-up needed some shuffling. City made three substitutions to begin the second half. Into the match came Kayla Whelchel, Acadia Murphy, and Syd Smith for Margaret Berry, Isabella Sabo, and Brooke Sleeva.
Kayla Whelchel started in our opening match against Kalamazoo FC. She will be a junior in the fall at Western Michigan University. She scored two goals against Eastern Michigan University in her second match at WMU in her freshman campaign. A Redondo Beach, California native, Kayla lettered in soccer and cross country at West Torrance High School and was a member of the LA Galaxy Developmental Academy, playing two seasons and earning a spot in the 2019 DA Summer Playoffs.
Acadia Murphy is making her first appearance with City. The Dexter High School grad was a member of the National Honor Society in her junior and senior years and will be a freshman at Ball State University in the fall. While in high school, she earned a spot on the all-state second team and was selected to the all-conference first team as well as all-district first team. Acadia was also a State Cup Champion with the Michigan Jags in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Syd Smith we’ll talk about in fifteen minutes.
Having the lead, Kings Hammer subbed their keeper, bringing in Jasmine Rehberger for Abby Weller. Jasmine is the older sister of Jade, who assisted on Kings Hammer’s first goal of the game.
It took a few minutes into the second half for the momentum to shift City’s way.
Brynn Gardner sent a pass down the channel to Kenna White, who fired a shot just wide in the 61st minute. Seven minutes later, a bad clearing attempt fell to Syd Smith, who fired the ball just wide of the frame. It was in the 70th minute when Ellie Pool lofted the ball toward the Kings Hammer goal. It deflected off a defender to Syd Smith, who lifted the ball between the raised arms of Rehberger and into the top of the goal to put City on the board.
Syd Smith is one of the original players from the 2020 COVID-shortened, inaugural season, having participated in all three matches. In 2021, she saw playing time in two matches in the UWS team, and six matches, including five starts for the UWS2 team. She was named the captain in two matches, and has scored what is probably fastest goal from the start of the game of any Detroit City FC team, scoring in the first minute against FC Midland on June 6, 2021. The Plymouth Salem grad is a junior at Western Michigan University. Unfortunately in this match, she had to be subbed out for Morgan Reitano due to an injury in the 75th minute.
The chances kept coming for City, and the Supporters kept chanting.
In the 78th minute, the tying goal was thought to be scored, when a free kick delivered into the box was headed in by Elisa Baeron, but the ref raised the offside flag.
In the 78th minute, Kayla Addison subbed in for Ellie Pool. Kayla is a Grand Valley State University 2012 alumni accumulating 58 goals and 26 assists during her four years. Sixteen of those goals were game-winners. She was with the club last season, starting two First Team matches and two Second Team matches, and scoring a goal in a First Team 10-0 blowout at Muskegon Risers.
Chance after chance came for City in the final 12 minutes, but every one was denied.
With five minutes of added time, the magic finally happened on the last play of the match.
A corner kick was guided in by Shannon McCarthy to Kayla Addison, who headed it just beyond the keeper’s reach. The roar of the crowd confirmed the match-tying goal.
Player of the Match: Kayla Addison
Detroit City FC 2, Kings Hammer FC 2
KHFC: Olga Massombo (Jade Rehberger) 11′
KHFC: Annie Greene 17′
DCFC: Syd Smith (Ellie Pool) 70′
DCFC: Kayla Addison (Shannon McCarthy) 90+’
City peppered the Kings Hammer goal with 21 shots (Kayla Addison 4, Madison Duncan 3, Ellie Pool 3, Kayla Whelchel 2, Syd Smith 2, Kenna White 2, Brooke Sleeva 2, Shannon McCarthy, Margaret Berry, Elisa Baeron). The Kings Hammer goalkeeper tandem was credited with 3 saves.
Kings Hammer took 9 shots during the match, and City keeper Bethany Kopel was credited with 4 saves.
Ellie Pool was shown the only yellow card of the match.
Though the draw made for an exciting and dramatic finish, it didn’t help City’s playoff aspiration. With five matches remaining, City’s 1 win, 3 draw, 3 loss record, puts them 7 points behind Racing Louisville FC who beat Kalamazoo FC 3-nil today, 4 points behind Indy Eleven and AFC Ann Arbor, and a point behind Midwest United FC but they have only played three matches. City’s destiny is in their hands as they do play AFC Ann Arbor and Midwest United FC, and two matches against Indy Eleven, but they won’t be easy. Add to that a trip to Kalamazoo FC, and the remainder of the season will be difficult.