Rockville Centre, N.Y. - Penalty kicks were needed on Thursday night (Nov. 3) to determine the result between second-seeded Molloy and third-seeded NYIT in the East Coast Conference semifinal at RVC Sports Complex. When all was said and done, the Lions ended the contest with the victory as senior Orlando Castaneda (Bethpage, N.Y.) scored the game-winning marker in the shoot-out to send Molloy to its first ECC final since 2008. The match goes down in the books as a 0-0 tie, with Molloy claiming a 4-2 win in penalty kicks.
The game went into penalty kicks following a frenetic pace on both sides for 110 minutes. In the opening half, NYIT proved to be the aggressor with a shots advantage of 7-3 but no goals were scored. Shots by Ion Barbarin Garcia (Pamplona, Spain) and Martin Sundell (Enebyberg, Sweden) were both dispatched by Raul Bonilla (Brentwood, N.Y.) and Bears keeper Jonathan Rico (Elmhurst, N.Y.) did the same with the Lions' lone shot on net from Kyle Poetzsch (Hicksville, N.Y.). In the second half, both teams had the opportunity to take the lead with excellent chances on both ends of the field.
The visitors had the opening salvo in the first five minutes of the last act of regulation, with Krishen Patel (Buckinghamshire, England) tapping home a gorgeous feed from Sundell in the box. Unfortunately for the Bears, the celebration was short-lived as the assistant referee had lifted his flag to signify that Patel was indeed behind the last defender and thus off-side. NYIT would have the next best opportunity in the 70th minute as Simon-Peter Omooba (London, England) laced a left-footed shot from distance that carried towards the net with a tremendous pace; Bonilla made an all-out dive to his left to keep the ball from sneaking into the net on the far post. In the 87th minute of action, Molloy's Mosiah Whyte (Coram, N.Y.) tattooed a shot from a zero-angle towards the near-side post that forced a save from Rico similar to Bonilla's block recorded earlier.
Extra time could not settle the score on either side. Omooba had another stellar chance for NYIT in the 95th minute that was stonewalled by Bonilla. The only other shot in the first frame of overtime came on a free kick from Sundell with six seconds to play in the session. The Swedish national lofted the attempt from just outside the 18-yard box over the crossbar, however. In the second overtime session, Omooba and Poetzsch would both have their chances turned aside by the opposing goalies. This time, it was Molloy getting the last chance with five seconds to go in the frame. Following a mad scramble in front of the net, junior Adam Carnwath (Fleet, England) fired a shot towards an open net as Rico was caught off his line. However, Barbarin Garcia proved to be the last line of defense and made the team save to keep Molloy off the board.
Penalty kicks settled the decision with Molloy taking the opening attempt. Whyte beat Rico on the top near-side corner, but NYIT could not answer as Alberto Salcedo (Granada, Spain) skied his penalty kick over the crossbar. The maroon and white took a 2-0 lead as Lucio Sorto (Baldwin, N.Y.) fired an attempt past Rico on the top far-side corner of the net. The Bears looked to Jorge Sariego (Gijon, Spain) to get on the board, but his attempt nearly sailed over the fence behind the goal. Carnwath led off the third round for the maroon and white, but his attempt to the near-side of the net was denied by Rico. The visitors, needing a marker to get on the board, got a goal from Carlos Coto (Moravia, Costa Rica); Poetzsch and Barbarin Garcia each scored markers in the fourth round to set up Castaneda's winning tally. The senior midfielder dribbled a shot to the far side of the net, as Rico dove to the near side. The ball crossed the goal line and set off an uproarious celebration as Molloy exorcised its demons from 2014---when the Bears knocked Molloy out of the ECC semifinals with a 3-0 win in Old Westbury.
The Lions will advance to Saturday's ECC Championship game at 1 p.m. in Brookville, N.Y. as Molloy faces top-seed and No. 2 overall LIU Post. The two teams met on Oct. 20 with the Pioneers claiming a 3-2 overtime victory in Rockville Centre.
Provided by the Molloy Sports Information Department.