|Marco Rodrigues Correia clears the ball out of the Holyoke end.|
|The bench celebrates the equalizer with the clock showing :03 seconds remaining.|
Last second regulation goal transfers momentum to Cougar's
(Holyoke, MA) For the second time in two games, men's soccer scored in the final minute of regulation (3 seconds remaining) to force overtime versus rivals Springfield Technical Community College. The rivalry brought about a high emotion staked game that saw over 30 fouls from hard play, yet only one yellow caution. The Cougar's first half had ended with a comfortable three goal lead with a score of 4-1.
In the 21st minute, Dale Fermi was taken down by a STCC defender in the penalty box setting up the games first of three penalty kicks. Fermi stutter-stepped on his penalty kick approach, easily beating the diving Springfield Tech keeper. In the 36th minute, Adam Goncalves was the second victim of hard play resulting in a penalty kick. Coach Abel Durojaiye called upon Patrick Lawless to step up and take the penalty shot. Lawless, the Cougar's starting goalkeeper (8 saves), found the back of the net, exclaiming afterwards, "It's been a long, long time since I scored a goal. That might actually be the first one of my career. Honestly!"
Seven minutes later, Goncalves threatened again, this time assisting on first year Jonathan Buri's goal from the left side making the score 3-0. Thirty-four seconds later, Springfield Tech took advantage of a defensive lapse, leaving keeper Patrick Lawless in a one on one situation versus STCC striker #10 who capitalized on the mistake making it 3-1. The Cougar's were not done in the half though, scoring off their sixth corner kick of the half. Trevor Corallo served up the corner finding Nima Kamal crashing the net to score the 4th Cougar goal of the half.
The second half saw a change in momentum. Six and a half minutes into the half, a STCC striker scored on the third and final penalty kick of the game past the Cougar's keeper. The Cougar's solid defense was challenged by the speed of the Springfield strikers throughout the game as STCC played a long-ball tactical game against the bigger, stronger Cougar defensive backs. Springfield's #10, whom already scored the first two STCC goals, beat out the Cougar's defense in a foot race, chipping the ball over outstretched keeper Lawless's head for his third goal of the game. Holyoke continued to fire back, having multiple shots on net but unable to convert again, slowly watching their lead decrease now to one goal. Springfield scored the equalizer in the 66th minute as a midfielder streaked in from the right to redirect a free kick over the goal line. Tied up at 4-4, Springfield scored the go-ahead goal with 14:33 remaining in regulation on an own goal defensive scramble by the Cougars. The deflated Cougars, however, were determined to yet again find the will for last second heroics. After scoring with 14 seconds remaining Saturday to force overtime against Mass Bay CC, the forward combination of Adam Goncalves to Paulo Carvalho sent a loose ball to the back of the net with a mere 0:03 seconds remaining on the clock. The celebration ensued and forced a golden goal overtime of 10 minutes.
With the momentum now in favor of the Cougars, bitter of their previous overtime outcome, they found a way to get it done Wednesday evening. Three minutes into the overtime session, Marco Rodrigues Correia elevated over the Springfield defense to redirect a Jonah Vaclavicek cross-field throw in. Adam Goncalves took care of the rest, netting the golden goal to edge Springfield 6-5 in the 92nd minute.
The gutsy victory improves men's soccer to 2-3-0 overall and 2-2-0 in regional play. Their next contest is Saturday September 21 at Bristol Community College. They will look to avenge a 2-0 loss from earlier in the season.