October 12, 2012 - Daemen Battles Top-Ranked UMFK But Falls 4-2
DEPEW, NY - For the second time this season, the Daemen Wildcats played tough against USCAA powerhouse Maine-Fort Kent before falling, this time by a 4-2 margin at the Frank Constantino Sports Complex. The Bengals, ranked #1 in the latest USCAA National Poll, improved to 14-0, but it wasn't without hard work as the Wildcats (3-8) pushed them to the brink for much of the game.
The Bengals raced out to a three-goal lead in the game's opening 20 minutes and appeared poised to run away with it.
Kennard Brown got the Bengals on the board in the eighth minute when he took a pass from teammate Christopher Brooks, touched the ball to open space and laid a move on sprawling Daemen goalkeeper Daniel Romer (Amsterdam, Netherlands/St. Nicholas Lyceum HS) before tapping the ball into the goal.
Brown then took a headed pass from Justin Soontiens up the left sideline and fed Brooks who struck the crossing feed past Romer from the middle of the box in the 12th minute.
Then, on a goal you'd be hard-pressed to see in a professional game, UMFK goalkeeper Giovanni Sinclair launched a pass on a free kick some 80 yards where it bounced once and found the foot of Brown who one-timed a hard shot from the right wing, giving the Bengals a 3-0 lead in the 19th minute.
During the Bengal onslaught, Daemen generated four breakaway opportunities, three of which were thwarted by Sinclair while the fourth was tapped just wide.
Down 3-0, the Wildcats continued to generate offense and it eventually paid off. Junior forward Kyle Clifford (West Seneca, NY/St. Francis HS) was hauled down in the box in the 24th minute creating a penalty kick situation. Fellow junior Zakariah Hall (Wells, England/The Blue School) took the P.K. and beat Sinclair who guessed wrong with his diving attempt.
Later in the half, Hall took a high leading feed from junior Jared Contreras (Arcadia, CA/Arcadia HS) and flicked it past a surprised Sinclair, fitting the ball just inside the far post, cutting the deficit to 3-2 in the 38th minute. This marked the first time all year that UMFK surrendered more than one goal in a game.
After the frenetic pace of the first half, the game slowed a bit in the second half and the Bengal defense stiffened. It looked as if UMFK made a tactical adjustment which gave Daemen some fits in their quest to find the equalizer.
Then, in the 81st minute, UMFK's Victor Ebanks intercepted a Daemen clearing attempt at the top of the box and sent his hard shot high into the back of the net to provide the final margin.
Sinclair stopped seven Daemen shots to pick up the win for UMFK.
After weathering the initial storm, Romer settled in and made six quality saves to keep Daemen within striking distance.
Daemen will look to jump back in the win column when they host SUNY Canton on Sunday, October 21 at 11am.