Buena Vista, Va. – It is not every day you get to see two soccer teams reach a double overtime period. What is even rarer is to see it with only nine players on the field for both teams.
Harrisburg looked extremely sharp from the first whistle of the game. Dominating possession in the first 15 minutes, the men created a multitude of scoring chances. Unable to hit the back of the net early on, SVU took advantage of the Lions missed chances and a long through ball against the run of play to go up 1-0 in the 17th minute.
The Lions did not let it phase them and continued to play quality soccer throughout the rest of the half without tying the score and missing a PK opportunity that hit the crossbar. The second half was not filled with a lot of intensity from either side until two hard Mike Jones (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin) tackles earned him back to back yellow cards and red card that put the Lions at a man disadvantage.
At this point, the Blue and White turned up the intensity and really started going for the equalizer despite being a man down. Their hard work and composure paid off when Isaac Amedza (Philadelphia, Pa. / Samuel Fels) set up Alex Panuccio (Mechanicsburg, Pa. / Mechanicsburg Area) for his third goal of the year with just four minutes to go in regulation.
Just three minutes later a hard challenge that turned into a shoving match evened the game out. Harrisburg's Christian Schmoyer (Allentown, Pa. / Faith Christian Academy) got a red card as well as Carter woods who were the originally involved players. In addition SVU's Brahema Molubah earned a red card after sprinting over fifty yards to get involved in the altercation.
The first overtime period started with just nine players for each team. This allowed for plenty of space for both teams to create chances. It felt as if the Lions were just a pass away from finding the winner at any moment. As the second OT period got underway, SVU made their final chance count the most as they buried a left footed shot into the left corner for the 2-1 win.
Head coach Seamus Donnelly had this to say about today's match. "It is obviously an incredibly frustrating moment right now. Our conference record says 0-2 but we have played some brilliant football in those two games. Just like last year it seems every lesson we have to learn ends in a defeat, but we will carry on and we will keep working hard, starting on the practice field on Monday."
Harrisburg hopes to get their first conference win Wednesday October 7th when they travel to face last year's CAC champs York College for a 7:00 pm kickoff.