FRIARS & KNIGHTS BATTLE TO A TIE

FRIARS & KNIGHTS BATTLE TO A TIE

📅03 November 2014
Share this article:

By Robert Balajadia

The FD Friars boys soccer team had as great a start as they could have hoped against the St. John’s Knights after scoring their first two goals in the first three minutes of the game. The Knights never kept their heads down and battled back to tie the score, leading to an eventual 2-2 tie for the game.

With neither side completely happy about their performance, FD Friars head coach Jason Cunliffe gave props to the Knights for being able to battle back.

“Credit to [the Knights] for not keeping their heads down and continuing to push forward. Our goal keeper made an error coming out on a free kick which gave them a lucky break on their first goal, but they kept pushing. It’s high school soccer, these kids are going to learn as they go so, it’s a lesson learned for our guys,” said Cunliffe

Down 2-1 in the final 10 minutes, Knights defender Xavier Kirksy was able to catch a ball that the Friar defense tried to clear, getting a clean shot from over 20 yards out to tie the game 2-2.

Kirksy was the second defender to score for the Knights after teammate, and defensive captain, Scotty Angoco scored off a free kick midway through the second half.

Knight's Scotty Angoco and Friars Jake Benito battle for possession. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Knight’s Scotty Angoco and Friars Jake Benito battle for possession. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Angoco anchored the squad with key saves in the first half, but his biggest impact came off a free ball after an FD foul midway through the second half as it took one long bounce right over the Friar defense and goal keeper to get St. John’s on the board.

The score proved to spark the team as the Knight’s defense prevented the speedy Friar forwards in Escobar, Phillip Au, or Jake Benito from getting good looks in the games closing minutes.

“We started slow and we were losing the ball in the center. When we had our (4) Thomas Untalan come back in the center, and when he did come back I was able to move balls around. I was able to get a goal off one of those and the momentum in the second half just built off of that,” said Angoco.

Friars forward Jestin Escobar wasted no time for FD by beating Knights goalie Sena Morimoto to a ball in the air, knocking it away from Morimoto to tap in an easy goal at just the 1:45 minute mark for the game.

Then, not even a minute later, Escobar took advantage of a perfectly placed ball on a long pass to head in the score to go up 2-0 at the 2:30 minute mark of the game.

It appeared to be going ugly for the Knights early on, but the defense settled down and prevented any more scores from the Friars starters or subs, who got a wealth of playing time as well.

FD nearly converted goals on three different occasions in the first half as Justin Johnson barley missed on a break away ball as his tap got past Knights’ Morimoto, but sailed a little off to the right missing the goal.

Knights Xavier Kirksy celebrates after scoring the clutch goal late in the second half. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Knights Xavier Kirksy celebrates after scoring the clutch goal late in the second half. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Escobar also nearly came away with a header off a cross kick, as it took a slow bounce past Morimoto, but teammate Takumi Odell made a heads up play to stop the slow rolling ball right before it passed the goal line to prevent the possible 3-0 hole.

Au did receive a pass from Escobar late in the game, but the kick was too ahead of Au to make a play on it despite appearing to get a one-on-one with Knights’ Morimoto.

Knights’ Gen Fudo almost sunk the Friars heart with a near break away in the closing seconds as he got past the defense, but couldn’t find the footing on his left leg shot attempt as the ball clanked the left post to go out of bounds, garnering the referees final whistle.

“We’ve been able to do some good things, but there’s definitely room to grow. We’ve got to get back to the drawing board and make sure we work some things, and this one was more on the mental side of things than on the technical,” added Cunliffe on the state of his team early on in the season.

“We wanted to support each other instead of yelling at each other. We wanted to play as a team and move the ball because when we play as a team we play better,” said Angoco.

The Knights open the season at 0-0-1 while the Friars go 1-0-1 after winning a big game against the Southern Dolphins in the opener last week.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Wil Castro

Friars Jestin Escobar beats Knights Sena Morimoto for the games first goal. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Jestin Escobar beats Knights Sena Morimoto for the games first goal. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Keita Yoshida clears the ball off a header. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Keita Yoshida clears the ball off a header. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Bradley Dickson burns the defense and dishes the ball for an almost goal. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Bradley Dickson burns the defense and dishes the ball for an almost goal. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Phillip Au steals the ball away from Knights Xavier Kirksy and almost scores. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Phillip Au steals the ball away from Knights Xavier Kirksy and almost scores. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Jestin Escobar almost scores off a header early in the first half. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Jestin Escobar almost scores off a header early in the first half. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Justin Johnson nearly scores off a tapped ball in the first half. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Justin Johnson nearly scores off a tapped ball in the first half. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Jake Benito battles for position against the Knights. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Jake Benito battles for position against the Knights. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Joshua Lujan gets up high for a header. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Friars Joshua Lujan gets up high for a header. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Knights Sena Morimoto punches out the ball off a corner kick. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Knights Sena Morimoto punches out the ball off a corner kick. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Share this article: