As soon as the ball left his foot, Keene State midfielder Nick Godzyk knew that the strike would have a decent chance at finding the back of the net.
Little did he know, during the balls journey it would eventually be deflected by a Springfield College defender and lead Wednesday night’s game at Springfield’s Brock-Affleck Field towards a controversial ending. The ball appeared to have hit the left post and ricochet out but after a long meeting the referee crew came to the conclusion that the ball hit the top of a tire inside the post giving Keene State a sudden death victory of 2-1.
“Coach has always told us to go back post,” said Godzyk. “I put it back post, it got deflected and luckily it just rolled in.”
Wednesday nights hard-fought overtime thriller between Springfield College and the Keene State Owls was nothing else but expected.
Last season, it was much of the same story when the two sides fought to a 0-0 draw after playing full regulation time and two overtime periods.
Springfield had numerous chances down the stretch that could have ended the game, mostly coming off the hard work and tenacity of junior-forward Mike Fowler. Time after time the Maynard, Mass. native beat his defender down the sideline and crossed the ball into the box giving the Pride great opportunities to come out of the match victorious.
“He was just one of the guys we couldn’t take off the field because he looked like he was on fire today, he was just unbelievable,” said Coach Steffen Seibert of his persistent striker.
Just 6:38 into the game, junior-midfielder Danny Amato put a ball into the air giving Fowler a chance at a head ball goal, but he was taken down by a Keene State defender inside the box.
This gave Springfield an early penalty kick, which was converted by Senior Alex Reilly to give the Pride an early 1-0 lead.
The Pride wore down the Keene State players for the rest of the first half but just 12 minutes into the second half, Junior defender Drew Vanasse gave an errant pass back to his goal keeper and it was intercepted by Keene State striker Scott Douglas. Douglas was left alone with goalie Brett Bascom and finished the opportunity to make it 1-1.
The Pride possessed the ball for much of the extra time but in the end it was the late heroics of Godzyk that will shine in the record.
The Springfield men will be back in action Saturday afternoon at Brock-Affleck against Mitchell at 1 p.m.