Records Set by Syracuse in 8-5 Victory over Harrisburg
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Syracuse Silver Knights (10-7) continued their home dominance of 2018 in their 8-5 victory over the Harrisburg Heat (5-14) in a MASL divisional game.
The Oncenter War Memorial Arena welcomed the Silver Knights and Heat, both coming off losses against the Baltimore Blast. This was a must-win for Syracuse head coach Ryan Hall.
"At this point in the season, it's rare that you have two teams that are going for that last spot and now it's us and Florida. A win is crucial," Hall said.
Shots on goal were hard to come by to open the game. After 12 minutes, Joey Tavernese received the ball on the right side from Jake Schindler. With an acute angle, Tavernese slammed the ball through Heat goalkeeper Hugo Silva's legs to open the scoring for the Silver Knights.
Forty seconds later, the Silver Knights doubled their advantage. A cross-field pass from goalkeeper Andrew Coughlin found forward Bo Jelovac. He used the boards behind him to orchestrate a pass to Ramin, whose shot flew like a rocket to the back of the net. The Baldwinsville native is on a scoring streak, which has given him recognition in the MASL Team of the Week for the past two weeks.
Goals were fast and furious in the second quarter. Silver Knights midfielder Kenardo Forbes broke away with the ball. His shot was saved from Silva, however forward Slavisa Ubiparpovic took it first time and hammered it home. This was a memorable one for the forward: his 200th career point for the Syracuse Silver Knights.
He wasn't the only Silver Knight to reach a memorable milestone. Tavernese's second goal of the afternoon, which he chipped right over the goalkeeper, was his 43rd point of the season, a new Silver Knights single-season record. However, the forward was not focusing on the personal achievement.
"I heard some mumblings and I heard that (Harrisburg Heat striker Elmo) Neto was the former leader, so to have him on the field after a little scuffle and to get it makes it a little sweeter," Tavernese said.
The forward didn't stop there. On a free kick, five Silver Knights players connected on five sharp passes, with Jelovac finding Tavernese wide open one foot out of goal. This increased the lead to five for the Silver Knights.
However, the Heat weren't going to go down without a fight. With two goals on either side of halftime by Lucio Gonzaga and Danny Diprima to cut the deficit to three. Another Heat goal by David Mellor forced Syracuse head coach Ryan Hall into a timeout.
But Coach Hall wasn't worried, saying the goal might of helped the mentality of the team.
"We got the goal out of the way so now the guys don't have to worry about the whole shut-out thing," Coach Hall said.
Syracuse responded when Ramin added his second, off a rebound from a Nate Bourdeau shot. The Silver Knights then added two more third-quarter goals by Forbes and Ubiparipovic to extend the lead to 8-3.
The Heat still had some flame in their game. A rocket from Jose Luis Birche and a goal from Neto made the game 8-5.
A sixth attacker for the Heat couldn't cut the deficit, who was forced into the game following an injury to Silva. Neither team could grab a goal to finish the game, despite both teams having chances.
Looking forward to next game, Coach Hall can see what they need to work on to confirm their playoff place.
"We're going to be doing the same things we've been doing. Breaking up pressure, defending a sixth attacker especially with St. Louis' goalkeeper being really good at his feet. We have to be able to adjust when he comes out and breaks over the yellow," Coach Hall said.
Tavernese echoed his coach's remarks about the importance of their upcoming games.
"We're trying to reassess the playoff picture after next weekend and today was a step in the right direction," Tavernese said.
The Silver Knights have its next two games at home next weekend, playing the St. Louis Ambush on February 16 (7:05 p.m.) and 18 (4:05 p.m.). For tickets, call 315-303-7261 or log on to syracusesilverknights.com.
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- Records Set by Syracuse in 8-5 Victory over Harrisburg - Syracuse Silver Knights
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