Lasers, Amcats end even at Taylor Field
The Lasers faced the Amcats of Anna Maria College this Saturday at Taylor Field for their second home game of the season. After an intense ninety minutes, the match ended in a 1-1 tie.
Coming into the game, Anna Maria were 0-2, and had only scored one goal in their first two games combined. That being said, the Amcat attacks were aggressive and frequent, led in large part by sophomore Rubelsi Moran, and senior Hezekiah Adeyeye.
The midfielder and forward connected often on the pitch, creating a bulk of their teams scoring opportunities, but no goals came. Instead, Anna Maria’s sole goal was scored from a penalty kick with twenty-two minutes remaining in the second period.
After a foul committed by Lasers’ sophomore Michael Guzzone, the Amcats selected Moran to step up to the spot.
As soon as the penalty was awarded, senior defender and team captain Michael Palumbo made a b-line for Laser’s sophomore keeper Cameron McDonough, who was making his first career start.
“I religiously watch film,” said Palumbo, “so I went over to Cam and said I know exactly where this guy is going.” According to the captain, Moran was bound to shoot for the bottom left.
Sure enough, the second-year centerpiece slotted his shot towards the bottom left corner, putting it past the outstretched arm of McDonough despite the advice. With that score, Moran put his team up 1-0 with most of the match underwraps.
Once the penalty had been scored, Palumbo rallied his team. “We brought the team in for a small huddle right after the goal, and we’re like now we have a reason to score… let’s go get it,” he said.
“Michael’s a stand-up kid that does the right things on and off the field,” said first-year Lasers head coach Jared Lewis. “His tireless workrate sets a standard for the culture that we are building.”
Just minutes later, the Lasers rebutted. After controlling the ball in defense, senior midfielder Elisio Nascimento made an impressive over-the-top pass to a sprinting sophomore Dan Faynstein.
Faynstein corralled the ball, beat one Amcat defender and poked it past sophomore goalie David Flores to tie the match 1-1 and secure his team-best third goal this season.
“Dan has the ability to be another key player for us. The role he will have this year is up to him,” said Lewis.
Regardless of his concession, McDonough was quick to thank his coaching staff and trainers for granting him the opportunity to play again after missing last year due to injury.
“There were certainly some nerves coming in after waiting so long but I felt good out there,” said McDonough. “I definitely have to thank my center backs for bailing me out a couple times.”
The pseudo-rookie may be referring to a game-saving play made earlier in the game by Palumbo; when a ball flicked onto net by Adeyeye made it over McDonough’s head and was saved in crane-kick fashion by the stand-out defender.
“I knew the header wouldn’t have enough power, so honestly I just went dead sprint right for the net,” said Palumbo. “The save was awesome, probably the best [play] of my career honestly.”
The Lasers will finish the second half of their back-to-back against Curry College Sunday, September 10 at Taylor Field.
While Lewis and the Lasers will be aiming for their first home win, Lewis is more concerned about improvement. “Despite the result today, we saw another positive step in our development,” he said.