MALDEN, MA – After getting behind early, the Mystics managed to erase most of NYAC’s lead, but couldn’t get points on the board late in the game and came off the pitch with a 15-22 loss.
The match as a whole started off with a lot of scrappy, disjointed play from both sides. Neither side managed much continuity or territory, so most of the early exchanges occurred in midfield. NYAC were the first to get into a scoring position and forced a penalty in front of the posts after ten minutes, which they duly converted to take a 3-0 lead. Soon after, the Mystics weren’t making headway and kicked a ball over the top into the NYAC fullback’s hands. NYAC took full advantage of the opportunity to counter and move the ball through the Mystics defense to give them their first try and a 10-0 lead. The Mystics then overkicked the restart, giving NYAC a scrum in midfield. The NYAC flyhalf used the perfect field position to stage a long-range backs movement to get NYAC well into the Mystics 22 and some quick ball led to a tight NYAC try and a 17-0 lead.
The Mystics recovered their focus enough to put some serious pressure on NYAC in their 22 and forced a turnover that they capitalised on to get captain Kayne Bubb in for their first try. Mike Armstrong converted to get the Mystics up to 7-17. NYAC didn’t relent, however, and managed to get a third try in before the half, leaving the Mystics 7-22 down at half time.
After half time, the Mystics started to take advantage of the wind to pin NYAC back in their half, and managed a penalty from Armstrong and an unconverted try from Nate Fox to bring NYAC within striking distance. The heat and the travel looked to be taking a serious toll on the visitors, and the Mystics spent large stretches of the second half camped deep in NYAC territory. Unfortunately, the Mystics just couldn’t turn the pressure into points and squandered multiple opportunities to close the gap. After continued pressure, the Mystics managed to earn two kickable penalties, but couldn’t put either between the uprights. The kicks were followed by a few lapses in concentration that saw the team give away territory and possession, which NYAC were only too pleased to take. NYAC continued to absorb the pressure all the way through the final whistle, and the Mystics had to walk off the field with a 15-22 loss.
The Mystics will now travel down to New York to take on Old Blue at Randall’s Island. They will certainly need a better performance next weekend, as Old Blue are fresh off a 50-10 walloping of the Wolfhounds in Canton. If the Mystics can combine their resilience under pressure with an improved mental game, they will put in a much stronger performance in New York.
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