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Bay FC continue magical start to inaugural season with 3-2 comeback win over Seattle

Bay FC continue magical start to inaugural season with 3-2 comeback win over Seattle

SAN JOSE — With every magical strike, just as with every aggressive tactical decision that leads to a late-game mistake, Bay FC keeps telling the soccer world exactly what kind of team it plans to be.

This is a wildly entertaining  — if also heart-stopping and occasionally infuriating — expansion franchise in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Ahead or behind, early or late, Bay FC is going for it.

And on Sunday in San Jose, the club put together yet another on-brand performance as it captured a 3-2 victory over Seattle Reign FC in front of 16,719 fans at PayPal Park.

Bay FC held a 2-1 lead late in the game and it never stopped pushing forward, but their attacking mindset was costly. And for the third time in as many games, they conceded a late-game goal.

Center back Kayla Sharples, who had one crazy and eventful evening, whiffed on a clearance attempt and the ball fell right to Seattle’s Bethany Balcer in the 6-yard box. Balcer slid it into the right corner to tie the game, 2-2, and give Bay FC some deja vu.

Twice in their last two games, they’ve given up a late-game goal, though the previous two resulted in a pair of losses to the Washington Spirit and Houston Dash.

This time, they recovered.

Four minutes later, substitute Joelle Anderson fired a shot from the left side of the 18-yard box which was deflected by a Seattle defender and tricked into the net for the eventual game-winning goal.

The action didn’t stop there as both teams had stoppage time goals called back, Seattle’s due to offside and Bay FC’s due to a handball.

But the final result was finally in Bay FC’s favor, as the club captured its second victory to move to 2-2 on the season.

They’ve now scored seven goals in four games and continue to display a fascinating style of play in which three forwards and two center-attacking midfielders are constantly pushed upfield.

It’s fun, chaotic, and creates some wild results.

Sunday’s game was the first in which Bay FC didn’t score first. Seattle struck in the 27th minute with a cross into the box that defender Alyssa Molonson cut off, but her clearance attempt went off Sharples, who accidentally knocked it into her own goal.

Otherwise, Bay FC dominated the first half, out-shooting Seattle, 9-1, while controlling the pace of the game for most of the half.

They didn’t score until early in the second when a corner kick landed outside the 18-yard box at the feet of center-back Emily Menges, who lobbed it back into the middle. Sharples got some redemption, as she leaped into the air and headed the ball firmly into the bottom corner to even the score.

About 10 minutes later, Bay FC converted on another corner kick, this time on a magical strike by Alex Loera. The ball landed at her feet at the top of the box and she hit a one-time beauty with her left foot. The line drive went straight into the right corner to give Bay FC a 2-1 lead.

Once again they conceded late, but this time they mounted the comeback.