Magic in the making: Magic City SC’s women’s team earns first wins in inaugural home matches

Published 7:36 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

PELHAM – For the first time ever, the city of Pelham witnessed professional indoor soccer as Magic City SC took on the Albany Aces in its inaugural home opener on Saturday, March 2 at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena.

“It was nervous and exciting to introduce the team to Birmingham,” Magic City SC men’s and women’s coach Jennifer Pfeiffer said. “It’s a different game, so it was exciting to see and watch the crowds’ reactions.

Not only was it the first home game in club history, but the two-game set gave the club its first-ever wins in the National Indoor Soccer League (NISL). The women’s team defeated Albany 15-1 on Saturday before winning 11-4 less than 24 hours later on Sunday.

The men’s side was unable to walk away with a victory as they lost 7-1 and 7-3 to the Aces over the weekend.

The women spread the scoring around in their opener as five different players had multiple goals. Alyssa Rabinowitz, Ali Castaneda, Alanna Dineen, Briana Morris and Missy Tammi had two goals apiece to power the Magic City offense.

Ashley Mazuca, Jackie Garcia-Cruz, Lilibeth Martinez, Ana Gonzalez Chombo and Ashlyn Bentley each added a goal as the hosts scored 15 goals in their inaugural home match.

On defense, Elizabeth Bornhauser allowed just one goal from Albany all night to help Magic City SC earn the 15-1 win.

The second game of the weekend was tighter on the scoreboard, but the hosts cruised to another dominant win.

Magic City SC walked away with the 11-4 win to improve to 2-1 on the season and move up in the standings.

As for the men, Stephen Summerow scored the first home goal in team history on Saturday and put Magic City SC on the board.

However, the Aces fired seven goals past Magic City in the 7-1 victory to start the two-game set.

Magic City SC came out stronger in the second game of the weekend on Sunday and led 2-1 in the first half.

That lead wouldn’t last as Albany scored six straight unanswered goals to sweep the weekend series.

Pfeiffer saw room for improvement from both teams after the matches, in particular, the men’s offense to put the finishing touches on goal-scoring opportunities and build the chemistry the women are already showing.

“For the men’s team, obviously, to finish our goals and have more attacking, be more dynamic in the final third and just find the chemistry that works with each other,” Pfeiffer said. “I think the girls have a good chemistry and they’re more interwoven and it’s like they’re reading each other quicker and faster, so trying to duplicate that for the men.

Her goal for both teams is still to reach the playoffs despite the two teams being in different spots in the standings with the women at 2-1 and the men sitting at 0-3.

Much of the season is still about growth, both on the field and off the field as more people from around the Birmingham area come to watch the club for the first time.

Especially with Pelham hosting the playoffs, they hope they can cap the year off with a playoff match in front of their home fans.

“It would be fantastic if we can get into the playoffs,” Pfieffer said. “I think that’s our No. 1 if the guys can turn around and win the next three, we can actually earn one of the four spots into the playoffs, so extending the season one more week would be great.

Magic City SC will have a month off before its continue its run of home matches. It will take on the Central Florida Crusaders for the first time in club history on Friday, April 5 before a rematch with Albany on Saturday, April 6 at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena.