By Breann McKeon/New York Shockers
In a second-half surge stemming from a penalty kick opportunity, the New York Shockers defeated the Greater Lowell Rough Diamonds 4-0 in their very first home opening matchup. Forward Adetayo Adefioye scored his first hat trick in the league to propel the Shockers win.
Coming off a two-game win streak, the Shockers immediately overwhelmed the Rough Diamonds as they sent several chips over their defense line within the first few minutes. New York held on tight to possession and seamlessly weaved passes from defense to offense.
The Rough Diamonds were indeed rough on the Shockers offense, and their intensifying physical play gave up four direct kicks within the first 10 minutes. Between deflections on both teams the Shockers couldn’t find the back of the net during these opportunities.
The first yellow card of the match was not issued to the Rough Diamonds until the 31st minute.
Despite holding his role as a defender, Adel Cekic played an integral part in the Shockers offense in the first half between carrying the ball up the left wing and seizing all direct and corner kicks.
Both teams finished the first half scoreless, but the Shockers reached a turning point at the beginning of the second half of the matchup.
In the 52nd minute, a Rough Diamond defender fouled forward Adefioye in the box which allowed a penalty kick opportunity. With ease, Adefioye slid the ball to the bottom right post of the net to put the Shockers on the board 1-0.
With fresh feet, only minutes after being subbed in, Ryan Kim fired a rocket over 20 yards out to the right upper 90 in the 67th minute and advanced the score to 2-0. This amped up the Shockers, as Adefioye netted another goal only three minutes later to make the score 3-0.
But the home team’s scoring frenzy didn’t stop there. Adefioye scored his third goal of the matchup in the 85th minute to seal the Shockers 4-0 victory.
Adefioye now leads the Shockers statistically as his goal count increases to four. His first was a 71st minute game winning goal in the Shockers second match of the season against Valeo FC.
“I know scoring, that’s my game,” Adefioye said. “If I don’t score I feel like I’m not in the game. I have to get it out of my system.”
But even with the strong efforts of the Shockers offense, head coach Matt Esposito is most impressed with the team’s steady defensive line.
“It was a really good overall performance because we kept the shutout, that’s really more important than scoring goals,” Esposito explained. “We were fortunate to be good in front of the net tonight but the shutouts are what we really like.”
Out of four matchups, the Shockers defense recorded three shutout victories. Goalkeeper Gregory Monroe was awarded the shutout tonight.
Monroe wasn’t the only goalkeeper that stood out tonight. Despite being handed the loss, the Rough Diamond goalie had an impressive performance as he prevented all of the many scoring opportunities the Shockers had in the first half.
The New York Shockers record increase to 3-1 as the Great Lowell Rough Diamonds record sits at 0-4.
The Shockers are set to hit the road as they head to face Boston City FC next weekend on June 5 at 7:00 pm.
Photo Credit: Amber Yarter