JERSEY CITY, N.J. — In the blink of an eye, New Jersey City went from a 1-0 heart-breaking loss to a 2-1 upset winner.
No. 6 New York took a 1-0 lead with 10:24 remaining, and after giving up just three goals in its first nine games, appeared to be on its way to another win. But the Gothic Knights struck for two goals in a span of 1:47—the game-tying score off the head of rookie center midfielder Alec Metsch, before senior midfielder Nana Kofi Kusi tucked a rebounder under the crossbar with just 3:45 remaining, as NJCU stunned NYU 2-1.
NJCU improved to 9-4, while handing NYU its first loss this season (9-1).
NYU had outscored opponents 25-3 in its first nine contests, had not allowed more than one goal in any contest and owned the fourth-lowest goals against average (0.33) in the nation.
NJCU junior goalkeeper Sheldon Parkinson made eight saves in the win. NYU senior Jonas Poster made four stops in absorbing his first defeat.
“I told the guys afterwards that this waiting until the other team scores to kind of really get after it [offensively] is going to make me a lot older than I am, a lot faster,” first-year head coach Patrick Snyder said. “But it kind of woke us up. I feel confident going forward against almost anybody that we have a good chance. We have a lot of talent and a lot of ability to attack. It’s innate in our guys and it’s going to serve us well when conference play continues.”
“It’s just fantastic for the guys. It just shows that the hard work they’ve been putting in, the effort and the fighting has really paid off. It was a good effort against a good team,” Snyder said.
“This means we can take on any team,” Metsch said about the significance of the win. “We shouldn’t be intimidated by anyone at this point. We just beat a nationally ranked team so we’re right up there with everyone else.”
There was no first-half scoring and just six shots on goal between the sides in the first 45 minutes.
Defense continued to rule for most of the second half before NYU struck first in a scoreless game at the 79:36 mark. Senior forward Paolo Luciano slipped a pass to senior forward Kyle Green from just inside the 18. Green unleashed a shot that Parkinson was able to get a piece of, but the ball caromed off his finger tips and skipped into the middle of the goal before the backline could retreat in time for a clear. The ninth goal of the season for Green was also his sixth in three games for NYU. Luciano registered his third assist.
Three minutes later, Parkinson made an incredible save that proved to be decisive, as sophomore midfielder Mickey Ingerman uncorked a point-blank shot in the box. At the very last second, Parkinson elevated and poked a save over the crossbar to maintain a one-goal deficit at the 82:39 mark.
Trailing by one, NJCU’s youth got the equalizer at the 84:28 mark. Sophomore midfielder Marco Avella chipped a corner kick from the far right endline into the middle of the box, where Metsch scored the biggest marker of his rookie campaign, heading the game-tying goal—his second of the season—inside the left post. The assist was Avella’s second of the season.
“I was basically looking to get it inside the box, because my corner kicks weren’t working too well today. I finally got one in and Alec put it away,” said Avella.
With the game knotted at 1-1, NJCU got the winner just moments later. Rookie forward Aboubacar Diawara took a shot from the left endline that was blocked by an NYU defender. The ball ricocheted into the center of the box where Kofi Kusi stuck the rebound underneath the crossbar at the 86:15 mark. His fifth goal of the season set off a wild celebration.