The Eagles were glad to be back on their home pitch at Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ after their first loss of the season last weekend. The Torch were riding high after scoring eight goals in their back-to-back wins last week. This had the makings of a very exciting game.
The Eagles came out determined and offensive-minded right from the opening whistle. In the first ten minutes Eagles forwards Josue Ortiz and Lucas Befi both tested the Torch keeper. For the rest of the first half the Eagles kept the pressure on by taking a dozen shots towards the Torch net, shots from both short- and long-range and also a number of headers. Half of the shots were picked off by the Torch keeper, who made several good saves. The other shots went wide or over the crossbar. The first half ended as it started, 0-0.
The second half was much of the same with the Eagles controlling the action in their offensive half. The best chance of the game for the Torch came in the 56th minute when Khalil Karl had his hard shot blocked in front of the Eagles goal by defender Yuriy Mazur. In the next twenty minutes the Eagles took another six shots towards the Torch goal, but none were on target.
In the 77th minute Eagles second half sub Ryan Morris thought he had the first score of the contest, only to have it disallowed on an offsides call. Two minutes later the Eagles finally broke through when forward Phil Bannister chipped the ball over the Torch defense to a streaking Andreas Chronis on the left side of the pitch. Chronis beat the keeper and buried the ball in the back of the Torch net. This seemed to motivate the Eagles. Ryan Morris was taken down from behind in the box in the 88th minute for a penalty kick call. Phil Bannister beat the Torch keeper, who dove the wrong way, making the score 2-0. In stoppage time Morris took the ball at midfield, ran down the middle past the Torch defense and stroked the ball into the left side netting for the final score of the contest, and a 3-0 victory for the Eagles.
Owner and head coach Oliver Papraniku was pleased with the result, but felt his team could have done more.
“Our offense had over twenty shots, but only put two in the back of the net. We need to do better in future games if we want to keep winning.”
The Eagles improved their record to 8-1 and still lead the Keystone Conference with three games remaining on the schedule. The Eagles’ next game is against Hershey FC in Hershey, PA.