By Scott Wilson/Erie Commodores FC
A 0-0 stalemate between the two sides was not what anyone expected coming into this matchup.
With Erie scoring three goals in their previous outing against Cleveland and Syracuse conceding
four in their last outing against Buffalo, Erie expected to continue their good run. Erie went into
this match full of confidence after previous performances and having beaten Syracuse already
this season. There were few chances for both teams with both defenses standing firm.
From the beginning Erie looked too take control of the game. But the first meaningful chance of
the game falling to Syracuse in the sixth minute after a counterattack down the right side but the
attempt on goal was blocked by the recovering Ivo Mendoza. This resulted in a corner for
Syracuse, with the resulting corner being cleared by Joseph Bell.
Erie’s first chance also came in the form of a counterattack with some neat interchanges between
the trio of Owen Connelly, Mathias Krigbaum, and Curtis Stollery. The result was forcing the
Syracuse goalkeeper into making what was a comfortable save. Erie’s closest moment of the
game was in the 23 rd minute when Krigbaum picked up the ball on the halfway line and dribbled
past four players before firing a strike goalward which subsequently hit the side netting. Many
in the McConnell Family Stadium thought it ended up in the back of the net, but the score
The next best chance of the game fell to Krigbaum in the 34 th minute after a superb through ball
from Bell played in the SIU striker, who brought the ball down over his shoulder but couldn’t
quite generate enough power into the strike. Syracuse would have a good chance in the 44 th
minute, but Alexander Brems made a comfortable save. That would be the end of the action for
the first half and the score was still 0-0.
The second half was one of very few chances as it was clear to see that both teams had played
less than 48 hours ago. Players were going down with tight muscles and heavy legs on both
sides, but neither gave up which is a credit to the players and coaches. The best chance of the
second half fell to Syracuse in the 62 nd minute when their forward was through 1v1 on goal, but
he took some time which allowed Mendoza to make a great recovering block that deflected the
goal bound effort wide.
The best effort of the second half for Erie came in the 82 nd minute when a diagonal cross from
the left side found the head of Kieran Paterson, but the big forward couldn’t keep his header
The final whistle blew and the sense of disappointment was clear to see for all involved with the
Commodores. The result still leaves Erie sitting on top of the East Conference and unbeaten, but
this game really was two points dropped rather than one earned.
The Commodores are back on the road for their next NPSL fixture on Friday, June 14th at
Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium in Buffalo, NY. Erie takes on big rivals FC Buffalo at 7:00
Photo Credit: Jennifer White/Acacia Studios