Nyack Men Survive Wild Second Half, Down Felician

Bashkim Saiti scored his first goal of 2017 in an Oct. 11 home loss to Nyack. (Steven R. Smith)
Bashkim Saiti scored his first goal of 2017 in an Oct. 11 home loss to Nyack. (Steven R. Smith)

LYNDHURST, N.J. – The Felician University men's soccer team erased a 3-0 second-half deficit before yielding a 79th-minute goal and suffering a 4-3 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference loss to visiting Nyack College on Wednesday night at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex.

Senior forward Finn Reese (Winsen, Germany/Techinsche Universitat Hamberg-Harberg) tallied the eventual game-winner for Nyack (6-6-1, 4-5 CACC) with 11 minutes, 16 seconds, remaining in regulation time. Reese notched all three second-half scores for the Warriors, extending his CACC-leading total to 12 in 2017.

Felician (4-7-2, 3-3-2) was unable to generate much offense in the opening half. The Golden Falcons got off three shots in the period, all of which missed the frame. Nyack was dangerous in a mid-period flurry during which it created four shots and two corner kicks in a three-minute span, but came away empty handed.

The Warrior pressure paid off in the latter stages of the half. Freshman Anton Teetzmann (Berlin, Germany/Heinz-Berggruen Gymnasium) sent a cross into the eight-yard box which teammate Jack Henley (Belper, England/Faith Christian Academy) tapped into the net for his first goal of the season. When Conor McKenna's (Navan, Ireland/St. Patrick's Classical) header off a corner kick missed wide in the 41st minute, Nyack carried the 1-0 edge into halftime.

The Warriors appeared to take control when Reese scored in both the 47th and 53rd minutes. But momentum swung when a Nyack player was sent off with 26:44 to play after being issued his second yellow card. Felician's comeback began when McKenna was successful on a corner kick restart, touching in a offering by Jovan Poggi (Lyndhurst, N.J./St. Benedict's Prep) just 4 ½ minutes after the red card.

The hosts continued to leverage the man advantage, and quickly scored again. A high cross by junior Gabe Viana (Lyndhurst, N.J./Lyndhurst) found the head of sophomore Bashkim Saiti (Teaneck, N.J./Lyndhurst). When Saiti directed the ball into the goal, 18:49 still remained.

Improbably, the Golden Falcons equalized just more than five minutes later. Freshman Leo Yang (Palisades Park, N.J./Queen of Pace) send a long ball over the top of the Warrior defense. Sophomore Christopher McLaughlin (Hollis, N.Y./Preparatory Academy for Writers) ran onto the ball and got a low shot past the goalkeeper to the delight of the home crowd. Still, 13:41 remained.

The excitement was short-lived. Just 2:25 after McLaughlin's marker, Nyack senior Francois Legeoedec (Etreville, France/Lycee Jacques Prevert de Pont-Audemer) located Reese's feet with a through-ball. Reese stuffed a shot into the lower right corner of the net. The Golden Falcon offense was active in the time remaining, producing five corner kicks and getting off three shots, but the Warriors held on.

The victory was the 200th in the career of Nyack head coach Keith Davie.

The result left Felician in eighth place in the 13-team CACC. The top eight teams at season's end will qualify for the conference playoffs. The Golden Falcons have four games remaining, including Saturday's trip to Philadelphia to take on Holy Family University.