The Clarkstown Eagles came to Saint John Vianney High School Saturday night looking to avenge their early season loss to New Jersey Copa FC. They did not leave disappointed. The Eagles advanced to the National Premier Soccer League Northeast Region Semifinals for the third straight year with their 3-1 hard-fought win over Copa.
Head Coach Sacir Hot came into this game confident that his team could score goals.
“Our team lead the NPSL in goal difference per game this year and was second in goals scored per game, so we knew that we can put the ball into the net. We have a lot of new players this year and it took us some time to gel as a team, but we are running on all cylinders now.”
The Eagles came out of the gate fast and controlled the ball from the onset of the game putting intense pressure on the Copa defense. They finally broke through in the 19th minute when a pass from Marcus Hackett found Chris Katona, who buried the ball in the back of the Copa net.
The Eagles’ second goal came in the 53rd minute when Emerson Lawrence was fouled in the box. Lawrence recovered to put the penalty kick past the keeper and give the Eagles a 2-0 lead. Just a minute later, after a scramble in front of the Copa net, Katona scored a second time to put the Eagles comfortably ahead 3-0.
Copa’s Ryan Campbell scored on a deflected shot in the 90th minute, but it was too little too late as the Eagles went on to win 3-1 and take the Keystone Conference title.
Owner Oliver Papraniku was pleased.
“Our team has a lot of new faces, but our veteran players; Andreas Chronis and 2016 all-NPSL defender Chris Riordan; are anchoring our team as we drive towards our best NPSL finish ever this year.”
Clarkstown will play Atlantic White Conference champions Kingston Stockade FC on July 22nd in a Northeast Regional Semifinals contest.