Greater Binghamton FC scored five times as they defeated Hershey FC 5-3 in the NPSL Game of the Week on Saturday, May 28 at Hershey High School Soccer Stadium in Hershey, PA.
Hershey scored first on the hot and humid night in central Pennsylvania, but were unable to withstand a five-goal outburst from Binghamton despite levelling the match late at 3-3.
Both teams went into the night seeking their first win of the season. Hershey FC started their 2016 campaign with two losses before drawing Electric City Shock SC in a Penn Challenge Cup match. Greater Binghamton FC were the opposite, drawing their first game of the season before losing the next two.
The early season results weren’t the only thing in common for the clubs. Both had yet to put their offensive pieces together, scoring only one goal in three games. Both had struggled defensively as well, conceding six goals in that span. Both had a goal difference of -5 heading into Saturday’s match.
Hershey FC opened the scoring in the 23rd when Binghamton’s goalkeeper parried away a cross only as far as Hershey’s Gregory Pompei. The winger powered the ball up and over the keeper to put his team up 1-0.
Later in the half, Binghamton’s Connor McKnight tore down the right wing before cutting it back to a streaking Alex Varkatzas. The forward beat the Hershey goalkeeper to equalize at 1-1.
The Thunder road the momentum swing and continued to test the Hershey defense. In the 41st, Haris Brkovic received the ball in the midfield and fed Varkatzas with a through ball that sprung him clear on goal. Varkatzas beat the keeper for his second goal of the evening to make it Hershey 1-2 Binghamton.
After the half, Binghamton increased their lead with another goal from Brkovic. Substitute Pierre Clavel gathered the ball from Varkatzas before threading a through pass to Brkovic, who put it passed the keeper to make it Hershey 1-3 Binghamton.
The home team caught their second wind a rattled off two goals in the 69th and 71st to bring the score level at 3-3. Just when it looked like Hershey would score again, Binghamton responded with two goals of their own to reclaim the lead.
Binghamton were forced to finish the game a man down after midfielder Jherrett Maroney was shown a red card in the 89th. The Thunder survived two minutes of stoppage time with ten men to win the game 5-3.
Binghamton’s head coach Al Mydlinski was happy with his team’s performance.
“We’re real pleased with the way our guys are playing,” he said after the game. “We’re starting to coalesce,” he said, but the best is yet to come. “We’re still transitioned our college students into the program. They are proven players.”
Hershey’s player/manager Adam Clay was also optimistic about their evening.
“We’re starting to come together. We’re showing some character to come back from 3-1 to 3-3,” he said. That said, the game did not end in Hershey’s favor.
“It’s still a little disappointed after making that big push to let it slip away again,” he admitted. “There is nothing easy [in NPSL].”
Greater Binghamton FC improve to 1-2-1 (W-L-T) on the season while Hershey fall to 0-3-1. The Thunder have the opportunity to extend their winning streak on Sunday May 29 when they play conference-leading New Jersey Copa FC in West Windsor Township, NJ.
Hershey FC continue the search for their first win when they return to action on Saturday, June 4 against Electric City Shock SC in a crucial Penn Challenge Cup fixture.