November 7, 2017 - Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) - Syracuse Silver Knights
SAN DIEGO, C.A. - San Diego midfielder Matt Clare scored the game-winning goal with 41 seconds left in regulation to send Syracuse to its first loss of the season. 6-5 was the final score in a game that no team lead by more than one goal.
"Heartbreaking loss tonight but I am proud of how the boys battled," said Silver Knights Head Coach Ryan Hall. "It's games like this that builds a lot of character and bonds a team. We will watch film, regroup, and come out refocused against Ontario."
The fourth quarter is where all the action happened. With the Silver Knights trailing 4-3, Joey Tavernese scored on a power play goal less than two minutes into the quarter to tie the game. The Silver Knights defended the oncoming Sockers onslaught well for the next seven minutes of play. However, on a restart, Jake Schindler was pressured by Brandon Escoto. The Silver Knights defender tried to pass the ball back to Andrew Coughlin, who was not where Schindler thought he would be. The ball rolled in the Syracuse net to give the Sockers a 5-4 lead.
From there, the Silver Knights turned on the offense pressure. Coach Hall pulled Coughlin from goal and made Schindler a sixth attacker. The newly motivated Syracuse offense eventually caused a San Diego mistake. San Diego defender Cesar Cerda tried to play a ball off the boards to Sockers goalie Chris Toth. With pressure coming from Bo Jelovac, Toth could not clear the ball properly, and Tavernese cleaned up the unsettled situation to equalize the game at 5-5.
However, in the end it would be San Diego that would get the last laugh. With under a minute to play in regulation, the Sockers caught Syracuse out in transition. Clare found himself wide open on the right-hand side of the pitch. A good move from Eduardo Velez allowed him to make a pass to Clare, who beat Coughlin far post to put San Diego ahead for good.
"It's a disappointing ending to a truly great effort and great game," said Silver Knights General Manager Tommy Tanner. "We have to come home satisfied with a split on the road but we're disappointed that we're not 2-0 at the end of the day. Now it's time to focus on the Ontario Fury for this coming Friday night."
The Silver Knights took advantage of the set piece in the first half. Syracuse only scored twice in the first half, with both goals coming off a restart. Slavisa Ubiparipovic started the game off with a bang. He rifled a free kick from the top of the arc into the Sockers net just 39 seconds into the match. The other Silver Knights goal came off a corner kick from the right of the San Diego net. Ubiparipovic stood over the ball and laid it off to Nick Perera. The former Sockers placed a shot past Toth for Syracuse's second goal of the half.
For the Sockers, the power play allowed the home team to take the lead into the halftime break. Three minutes into the second quarter, Tavernese was called for tripping. The ensuing power play saw Escoto score from the top of the arc. With less than two-and-a-half minutes to play in the half, Syracuse was penalized for having too many men on the field. Kraig Chiles sizzled a shot over the head of Coughlin and into the net.
Despite the loss, Andrew Coughlin played an amazing game in front of the Silver Knights net. The Syracuse keeper made 17 saves, one less than his career high. San Diego peppered the Syracuse net throughout the entire match with 43 shots, including 11 in the second and third quarters. Coughlin did well to keep Syracuse within striking distance at all times.
For Syracuse, all four of its scores found themselves on the scoresheet for the second game in a row. Joey Tavernese treated himself to another brace. Last season's Silver Knights top goal scorer leads Syracuse early on in that category. Slavisa Ubiparipovic leads the team early with six points over the first two matches.
Much like Syracuse, San Diego featured four different goal scorers. Kraig Chiles and Brandon Escoto were credited with two goals each. Chiles now has seven points to lead the Sockers. Cesar Cerda scored the first goal for the Sockers. Matt Clare send the San Diego faithful home happy with his last second strike.
San Diego stays at home next week for a match against Tacoma. Syracuse returns from its west coast trip with a 1-1 record. The next game for the Silver Knights is the home opener at the OnCenter War Memorial Arena. The Ontario Fury visit Central New York for the CNY Celebration of Soccer Home Opener. Fans that cannot make it to the match can watch online on the MASLTV YouTube page. For information on tickets, contact 315-303-7261 or log onto www.syracusesilverknights.com.
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Syracuse Loses Heartbreaking Match at San Diego