Sunday, September 15, 2013

UDC Ekes Out 1-0 Thriller Over Nyack

Nenad Smiljanic scores on a free kick with just 0:02 left

The road to success is paved with skill, strategy and luck: All three were on display yesterday in UDC's thrilling 1-0 victory over visiting Nyack. Freshman Nenad Smiljanic scored the game's only goal on a free kick with just two seconds left, extending the Firebirds undefeated record to 4-0.

Today's game had an international feel, featuring UDC's UK connection against a Nyack roster stacked with eight German players. Both teams played their hearts out, until Nyack defenseman George Siotis made a foolish foul with just four seconds remaining in the game, drawing a yellow card and providing UDC's Smiljanic with a chance to play hero. The British midfielder connected from just outside the box, scoring his second goal of the young season. Smiljanic led all players with three shots on goal; and goalkeeper Louis Connor notched his first official shutout of the season. UDC outshot Nyack 15-14, while the Warriors held a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks. The game got particularly rough in the second half with 21 fouls called (27 for the game, including five yellow cards.)

Smiljanic (#10) almost connects earlier in 2nd half

UDC is halfway through an eight-game home stand to open the season, and is sure to climb higher in this week's NCSAA East Region poll. Head coach Matt Thompson has to be quite pleased with his team's great start, as they look to improve to 5-0 on Wednesday afternoon vs. ECC foe St. Thomas Aquinas (1-1-1) at 3:00 PM. Conference play... Time to get even more serious.

Click here for yesterday's box score.

UDC D Atunde Akum (#5) closes on Jakob Schwanitz (r)

Frosh D Zak Eadle (#4)

Goalkeeper Louis Connor (#1)