By DUSTIN NILES
Layout & Design Editor
The men’s soccer team tied Central Connecticut State University 1-1 on Sunday, moving their record to 8-4-2 overall and 2-2-1 in the NEC.
The game was a classic defensive standoff, with each team being denied goals at multiple opportunities. Play was aggressive, and only got more intense as the game progressed.
Shots came early and often, with CCSU registering nine shots in the first half to FDU’s five. Three of those shots came from freshman forward Diego Arribas. The closest was a combined effort from Arribas and redshirt junior forward Ahu Obhakhan in the 27th minute.
Arribas approached the goal before passing left to Obhakhan, who took the shot, sailing it over CCSU’s junior keeper Carson D’Ambrosio before hitting the right post and bouncing back into play. The ball was kicked into the air by one CCSU player only to come down through D’Ambrosio’s hands and onto the turf, where Arribas attempted another shot, only to be blocked back far enough to be taken away by CCSU defenders. Obhakhan’s shot was so close that the reactions in the crowd indicated that it did go in, before confused sighs took over when play continued.
The scoreless tie was broken with just under three minutes left in the first half by CCSU freshman mid elder Sean Gannon, assisted by senior forward Ryan Taylor. Taylor approached the goal on the left side before passing to Gannon, who was set up just past the six-yard box in the center of the pitch. Gannon immediately took the shot upon receiving the pass and sunk it into the goal just to the right of freshman goalkeeper Jahmali Waite.
The Knights retaliated in the 46th minute, when Obhakhan got behind the defense and shot the ball to the left of CCSU’s D’Ambrosio.
The rest of the game was a stalemate, with a couple of close shots. In the 63rd minute, CCSU senior
mid elder DeShawn Parker took a shot from wide left that sailed just in front of the goal before bouncing out of bounds.
Knights junior mid fielder Leo Dalesandro got the ball with momentum towards the goal in the 86th minute before attempting to pass to freshman forward Jacob Labovitz, but the pass was denied and the opportunity to score was lost.
Overtime brought higher tensions and higher stakes as each team looked to walk away with a win. After a CCSU corner kick, a yellow card was issued to CCSU sophomore defender Danny Lobello. A yellow card was also later issued to Dalesandro in the second overtime period.
With just 28 seconds remaining in the second overtime period, FDU sophomore defender Cristian Nunez looked like he had a clear path at the goal and took the shot before being denied by CCSU’s D’Ambrosio.
The Knights sit tied for third in the NEC with Bryant, CCSU, and Robert Morris. All three teams are chasing LIU Brooklyn, who the Knights play on Sunday, and St. Francis Brooklyn, in first.
The men’s soccer team headed down to Washington D.C. on Tuesday to play Howard University. They won that match 2-1, with goals from Labovitz and freshman mid elder Rocky Garretson. That win moved their record to 9-4-2.
The men’s soccer team’s next home game is Sunday Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. against LIU Brooklyn.