At times there was sloppy play, there was great team defense, and there were times on offense where it looked like either team could have taken complete control. In the end the Queens College Knights played to a 1-1 draw with the Pioneers of LIU Post.
Coming into the game, it was a tale of two teams trending in different directions. The Pioneers were first in the East Coast Conference (ECC) heading into the contest at 8-0-1 and were riding an 8-game winning streak that saw them win their first three ECC games of the season.
Meanwhile the Knights, despite coming off a win, entered the game 4-4-1 (going 1-2-1 in their last four contests, all of which being ECC games) and found themselves towards the bottom of the conference.
The game started off at a quick pace, with LIU getting a free kick within the first three minutes of the game that was saved by junior goalie Chidiebere Iloka, who was coming off of a 5 save shutout in the Knights’ last game against St. Thomas Aquinas.
The next 20 plus minutes of action saw both teams trying to score first. During this stretch QC got multiple shots on goal, but were stopped by Pioneer’s goalie Oliver Hessner Hansen, who came into the game ranking first amongst goalies in the conference in save percentage and tied for third in saves.
Then almost 27 minutes into the game the Pioneers scored the first goal when forward Johann Kristjansson scored to give the Pioneers a 1-0 lead.
The rest of the half saw both teams scratch and claw to get in position to get more shots on goal, but the first half ended with the score 1-0 still in favor of LIU Post.
Despite the difference in conference standing, QC and LIU played a seemingly even game in the first half.
The Knights started off the second half with the same quick pace that the game began with, and their persistence nearly paid off 16 minutes in as junior defender Paul Hayes got a shot on goal, but was saved by Hansen.
The Knights would continue to push the pace in the second half to try to tie the game while the Pioneers looked to try to ice the game with another goal.
Then, with just over 18 minutes left, in the second half the Knights drew a foul from Pioneer’s sophomore forward Mike Sutton, resulting in a free kick, and junior midfielder Andras Breuer scored tying the game at 1-1.
The intensity began to build as the Knights kept drawing fouls on the Pioneers that would either stop the Pioneers from pushing the ball up the field, or would put the Knights in better field position to potentially score again.
The first overtime period saw multiple scoring chances the Knights turned away, most notably on two occasions when Emgi Gousse controlled the ball going up the field looking to score but was surrounded by a sea of green uniforms, keeping things tied at 1-1 and forcing a second overtime.
The second overtime saw zero shots on goal for most of the period but with 27 seconds left the Knights fired one last shot on goal that was saved by Hansen, ending the game in a 1-1 draw.
After the final whistle players from both team gave each other props, shaking hands and giving some hugs, showing each other respect after playing to a great double OT game.
Despite finishing in a tie this was still a big moral victory for the Knights. The Knights came a week after losing to the Mercy College Mavericks (who are now second in the conference following LIU tying with QC).
Responding with a win October 3rd against the St. Thomas Aquinas Spartans and a tie against a top team in LIU Post, there is plenty of soccer left to play for a team looking to keep their playoff hopes alive.