Niagara Slides Past Men's Soccer
Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
"I thought we played extremely well tonight," Canisius coach Dermot McGrane said. "We had most of the possession, most of the shots and we had more corners, but the bottom line is we need to find a way to start finishing and we need to find a way to win.
"You can look at the tapes from the Rider game, the Loyola game and this game, and all those stats are nice, but they don't really matter if you don't have more goals."
Niagara got on the board in the 16th minute as Ken Cooper sent in a pass from the right corner. Callum Willmott gathered the pass in front of the net and scored on the right side to give the Purple Eagles the 1-0 lead. The Griffs evented the game in the 30th minute as senior Gavin Falconer gathered a a blocked shot, made a move and scored from 20 yards out for his ninth goal of the season. The Purple Eagles came right back just over two minutes later as Willmott headed a ball on net that Canisius goalkeeper Kareem Gray couldn't handle to give Niagara the 2-1 lead.
Sophomore Eric DeHond entered the game at halftime and made a big save for the Griffs with just under 15 minutes left. Cooper got behind the Canisius defense, and DeHond came out to cut down the angle and made the save to keep it a one-goal deficit. The Griffs came right back and almost knotted the game as a cross from Alex DeCarolis found a streaking Jon Cary, but Cary's header went just wide.
Canisius, which held a 24-10 advantage in shots on the night and a 16-4 advantage in the first half, finally got the equalizer with just over 10 minutes left. Will Hudson sent a pass across the box to sophomore Asani Samuels who put it away to even the score at 2-2.
The Purple Eagles would get the game-winning goal with 6:40 left as Willmott gathered a corner kick in the box. His first shot was stopped on the line by a Canisius defender, and Willmott was able to flick the loose ball into the net to complete the hat trick.
In his first collegiate action, DeHond (0-1-0) made three saves for the Griffs while Brett Petricek (8-0-4) made three saves for Niagara to pick up the win.
Canisius returns to the road for the first time in a month with two games away from the Demske Sports Complex next weekend. The Golden Griffins play at Marist on Friday, with game time in Poughkeepsie set for 7 p.m.
Notes: Canisius outshot its opponent for the 11th time in 13 games this season... Niagara defeated Canisius for the fifth consecutive meeting... It was the 53rd all-time meeting between the schools... Niagara scores two points in the all-sports Battle of the Bridge competition, and the Purple Eagles hold a 3-0 lead in the series.