Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville men's soccer team went to double overtime on Tuesday evening against St. John Fisher, tying the Cardinals in an intense game 1-1.
Most of the offense in the first 10 minutes of the game was supplied by the Spartans. The team had a pair of corner kicks and a pair of shots to put Fisher on the defensive early. St. John Fisher would then begin to take possession of the ball and create offensively, but the D'Youville defense was up to the task as they didn't allow a quality scoring chance.
Both teams would continue to trade opportunities to take the lead, but both defenses held firm. D'Youville would get a pair of shots on goal in the final four minutes of the first half, but the Fisher keeper kept the Spartans off the scoreboard as the teams headed into halftime tied a 0-0.
The second half began in a similar fashion in which the first half ended. Fisher had a pair of shots go wide of goal, but the Spartans were keen on being first on the board. Hunter Sherman (Lockport, NY/Lockport) had a shot saved and blocked within a five-minute period as he was a major threat to score all evening. However in the 64th minute, the Cardinals were able to capitalize on a shot within the box to take a 1-0 lead.
As the half went on, D'Youville had several opportunities to equalize. Sherman, Jake Kowalewski (Attica, NY/Attica), and Marco Ciccarelli (Rochester, NY/Webster-Schroeder) each had shots blocked by the Fisher defense. The Spartans continued to build pressure by bringing wave after wave of attacks as the game neared its end and they were finally able to answer right before the final horn.
Ciccarelli swung a corner into the Cardinal's box with 0:25 left in regulation that glaced off the head of Josh Hammer (Amherst, NY/Sweet Home) and then a Fisher player to go in the Cardinal's net, tying the game on an own-goal and sending the game into overtime.
An early shot in the first overtime period caused goalkeeper Kyle Dick (Churchville, NY/Churchville-Chili) to make a save, but as he had done all game, he came up big to keep the score the same. All of the following shots in the first overtime where high or wide but the neither team could find the goal as they advanced to a second OT.
D'Youville nearly won the game on a shot from Khaled Numan-Ali (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga) forced a Fisher save, but the game remained tied at 1-1. Two Cardinal shots were blocked by the Spartan's defense as the OT went on and Fisher had a late chance in the final minute of play, but Dick came up again big with a save as the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
The back line of the Spartans was incredible throughout the game. Captain and senior center back Hammer was a force in the air and on the ground throughout the 110 minutes of game action. His partner in the middle, Matt Davis (Spencerport, NY/Spencerport), was equally as impressive as he was exceptional at clearing the ball and blocking numerous Cardinal shots. On the outside, AJ Wade (Pendleton, NY/Starpoint) and Kowalewski were great at breaking up plays and providing an offensive push as well.
In goal, Dick made nine saves in the game and was impressive throughout the evening. His solid hands and agility were on display throughout.
The entire team registered 17 shots in the game, seven of which were on goal. Sherman led the team with six shots and two shots on goal. Numan-Ali and Kowalewski, and Brian Nwaekeke (Corona, CA/John F. Kennedy) each had two shots while Ciccarelli, Jared Zadzilka (North Tonawanda, NY/North Tonawanda), Jack Schmittendorf (Hamburg, NY/Frontier), Aakar Hunt (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga), and Wade each registered a shot as well.
D'Youville will next play this Saturday, September 22 as they host Penn State-Altoona at 4:00pm for their conference opener.