Potent lineup to lead club into 11th W-League campaign
Friday, May 10, 2013
NEW YORK CITY, NY. - The New York Magic has announced a trio of veteran players returning to the club for the 2013 W-League season. Aya Noguchi, Brittany Saisselin and Kelci Hegg have signed with the club ahead of its opening match against the Washington Spirit Reserves on Saturday at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
"It will strengthen our team to have veterans like Brittany and Kelci anchoring the defense," Magic Head Coach Nino DePasquali said. "I appreciate their leadership and loyalty to the Magic. Both are solid players who over the years have developed an understanding of my Italian style of defense… if the opponents don’t score, we won’t lose."
Named the head coach in February at nearby Concordia College, Hegg will continue her career with the Magic after playing all but 24 minutes of the 2012 season for the W-League side. The Vanderbilt product (2002-05) played eight matches in each of the previous two seasons and saw action in 13 of 14 games in her debut campaign in 2009.
Saisselin has also been a key member of the team’s backline during the past four years, playing in all 26 matches in her first two seasons and only missing 14 minutes in her 2009 debut campaign. The University of Maine graduate (2003-07) has played in a combined 19 games the past two seasons.
The youngster of the trio, current Franklin Pierce University defensive midfielder Noguchi played every minute of the Magic season a year ago and contributed two goals and two assists. A recent third-time Daktronics All-East Region honoree at FPU, she played all but one minute of her 2011 W-League campaign with a goal and an assist and played in 11 of 12 games in 2010, tallying three goals and three assists.
"Aya is an exceptional player and a true asset to the Magic," DePasquali said. "She is technically superior and I see her working very well with her fellow country [women], Ayaki, Hikari and Hikaru. It is a privilege and advantage to coach players who are technical and disciplined in the field. Having Aya return to the team with her leadership both on and off the field will add to the strength of the Magic."
On the offensive end of the pitch the team will see the return of former youth standout Sade Ayinde, a striker from the University of Maryland (2008-11) that played two seasons with the Magic as a teenager prior to her college career. She made her debut with the team in 2006 with 78 minutes of action and scored once in 2007 as she logged more than 600 minutes for the W-League side. The former U14-U18 youth national team pool member went on to play for the Long Island Rough Riders the past three seasons. She tallied five goals and five assists combined in 2010 and 2011, but only found the net once in five games a year ago.
A complete newcomer to the club, Mallory Peterson of Clinton Corners, N.Y. is coming off a freshman campaign at Penn State where she registered two goals and an assist in 434 minutes of play.
"I look for Sade, Brittany Pfaff and Toni Smith to add significant offensive power to the Magic front line," DePasquali continued. "They each have the tools to be a force in the League and I look forward to seeing them explode and display their talent."
NEXT GAME: Saturday, May 11 - The Magic open the season away versus Washington Spirit Reserves (Maryland SoccerPlex, 4:00 pm ET)
NEXT HOME GAME (Friendly): Tuesday, May 14 – The Magic play host to the Boston Breakers Reserve squad at the Aviator Sports Center in Brooklyn, NY (6 p.m. ET).
NEXT HOME GAME: Sunday, May 19 - The Magic play host to the Fredericksburg Impact at Old Boys High School Stadium (2 p.m. ET).
For tickets, schedule and information contact Lyndelle T. Phillips at 212-447-0932.