BRISTOL, R.I. - After a goal from senior Conor Leahy late in the second half forced the game into an 1-1 double overtime tie, the Keene State men's soccer team emerged from the penalty-kick shootout victorious, as the Owls earned a 5-4 win over Roger Williams to claim the Championship Title of the Roger Williams Opening Weekend Tournament at Bayside Field on Sunday afternoon.
- Keene State: 0-0-2
- Roger Williams: 1-0-1
How It Happened
It was a quick start for both teams, as each side created goal-scoring opportunities in the opening minutes. In the 16th minute, Sean Janson sent a free kick into the left end of the goal, but senior goalkeeper Jason Smith was able to make the save. Just a few minutes later, the Owls were awarded a free kick, as senior defender William Salta fired off a shot from 25 yards on target to the right of the corner, yet Hawk keeper Nick Nelson kept the Owls off the board with a diving two-handed punch. Neither team could find the back of the net in the continuing minutes, despite a terrific chance from freshman midfielder Clinton Muntega in the 35th minute. Muntega collected a ball 15 yards out off the corner kick, but the shot went just high, as Hunter Graham responded with a shot of his own in the Owls' box moments later, with Smith gathering up the loose ball. Roger Williams finally broke through the Keene State defense in the 42nd minute, as Nicholas Sanchez sent a pass to Colby Decker, who fired a hard shot right at the keeper. Smith got his body in front of the ball, but the impact ricocheted the ball off of him and rolled into the net for the score. The hosting Hawks took a 1-0 lead into halftime despite the Owls' holding a 9-4 shot advantage for the stanza.
Keene State came out aggresive in the second half, firing off 13 shots towards the Roger Williams goal. Sophomore Samuel Binogono looked to tie up the game in the 79th minute, as the midfielder collected a through-pass on the left side, but his shot was deflected in the box. Finally in the 86th minute, the Owls capatilized on a failed clear attempt from Roger Williams, when Leahy collected a loose ball in the Hawks' box off a pass from Binogono and fired the ball into the back of the net, past a diving defender to force the game into extra time. Neither team was able to break through during the two overtime periods, yet both teams created chances on both sides, leading to a penalty-kick shootout to name the winner.
In the shootout, both teams connected on their first three attempts before the fourth Hawk shot went over the goal. Keene State buried the next two attempts, with Brandon Castor scoring the fifth and winning kick.
Inside the Box
- Keene State dominated with a 27-10 shot advantage overall, including a 13-3 edge in the second half.
- Between the pipes, Smith made two saves, while Edmund Geschickter made seven saves over 68:21 minutes for the visitors and Nick Nelson knotched two saves over 41:39 minutes.
- Clark University earned third place after defeating Newbury College 2-0 in the Consolation Game.
- Keene State will continue their four-game road series with a trip to Worcester State on Wednesday, September 6th, beginning at 4 p.m.
- Roger Williams heads to Mount Ida on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. start.
Portions of this release courtesy of Roger Williams Atheltics.