NEWARK, NJ - Billy Walsh likes to see the reaction and what it turns to when his pickup soccer team from Chatham takes on the top club teams in the state -and wins with a team led by four girls.
In the latest example, Chatham's Riley Cross and her PDA teammates Maya Nuwayhid, Ava Mason and Callie Schmidt joined their eight male teammates from Chatham to upend the top-rated 2007 Ironbound boys, 4-3, on Wednesday night at Riverfront Field.
"The favorite part by far is winning," Walsh said. "It's interesting to watch. It morphs from, haha, they have girls to oh crap. You can see those kids start thinking 'we better hit them' and then they can't hit them."
Maya Nuwayhid wins the ball and finishes to break a 3-3 tie for Chatham with about five minutes left in the game
Jake Keltz runs onto the ball hit into the box by Riley Cross and scores his second goal of the game for Chatham
Maya Nuwayhid muscles her way into the box to score her first of two goals vs. Ironbound
Chatham midfielder Riley Cross, who played on a team that won a national championship over the summer, shows off her skills vs. Ironbound
Jake Keltz and Nuwayhid scored two goals apiece for Chatham, which featured Cross at center midfield. Schmidt played center back with Mason and Carter Newman as the outside backs.
Colin Fitt, who got the call to play a few hours before the game, played well as an outside midfielder for Chatham, which also received smart play from Alex Kulp.
Walsh's soccer resume includes winning a national championship at the University of Virginia, leading Rutgers to the Big East Championship, playing for the U.S. Olympic team, the U.S. National team and the Metrostars. Today, he enjoys coaching a pickup team led by four star girl players.
"It's shocking at first to see what they can do," Walsh said. "They play at such a high level, it raises the play for the whole team and the boys have to keep up to get better. When we have pickup practice, we always have three or four players that are better than our players, and that's how they get better."