By New York Shockers
A rainy day at Afrim’s Sportspark may have been the sign of a difficult game to come for the New York Shockers, as they were held to a goalless draw against Syracuse FC on Saturday evening. The Shockers were able to have a lion’s share of the possession but were not able to put the ball in the back of the Syracuse FC net. Oleksandr Perets tallied seven saves, with Syracuse FC playing a strong defensive game and picking their moments to counterattack.
The game started off with a several chances from the Shockers, with a couple corners unable to be converted. Connor DeFilippis had the first shot of the game in the 8th minute, a header off a corner that was handled by Perets. Another chance came in the 16th minute, with Muhammed Kajtazi right inside the 18-yard box forcing Perets to make a diving save to his right. Pedro Espindola joined in on the Shockers offensive pressure with an audacious overhead kick that went just over the bar. The Shockers next chance was in the 28th minute, with Tayo Adefioye’s shot almost catching Perets off guard. Adefioye cut inside from the left wing, got past two defenders, and curled a shot that used the slick surface that was just not able to sneak inside the far post.
Syracuse FC started to put pressure on the Shockers defense in the later stages of the first half with several fast counterattacks. Cason Stafford had the first chances in the 24th minute with two very close shots inside the box that were blocked before they could reach Shockers goalkeeper Ryan Henning. A Syracuse shot in the 31st minute was just sent wide from Conor Baird, along with a dangerous free kick in the 33rd minute that also went wide. The rest of the half ended without any significant chances or pressure from either side.
The second half started out in a similar manner, and it took until the 56th minute for the chances to start returning. Syracuse had the first chances, testing Henning on a close range shot that was labelled for the bottom corner, forcing him to stretch out and make the save. Henning ended the game with two saves.
The Shockers would start to create some chances in the 58th minute, once again causing problems for the Syracuse defense off corner kicks. Both Adefioye and Espindola would get chances off a corner kick or retaining possession from a corner kick with Perets being forced to make some difficult saves from fast shots from the turf.
Syracuse’s best chance of the game came in the 70th minute, as they were able to break through the press of the Shockers and force a great save again from Henning. Although they had some very well worked counterattacks, they also had a difficult time converting on their chances or would be stopped by the Shockers’ last defenders. The last promising chances from the Shockers would come in the 80th minute with a Wisdom Ishaya shot from just outside the box that hit the crossbar and just stayed out, as well as a dangerous 90th minute cross from Adefioye that was just not able to be tapped into the back of the net.
In the end, a 0-0 draw was the deserved result for both teams in a hard-fought and physical game. The Shockers record goes to 1-1-1 and 4 points in the North Atlantic Conference, while Syracuse goes to 0-1-1 and gains their first point of the season. The Shockers next game is Saturday, May 27th in Hartford, Connecticut against Hartford City FC. It will be their first of three games against Hartford City FC, as well as the first of two consecutive road games. The next Shockers home game will also be against Hartford City FC on June 17th.
Photo Credit: Amber Yarter