Victory! RFA’s Jacob Pohl (9) raises his arms in triumph after his Black Knights upset Proctor.
The RFA boys soccer team traveled to Utica’s D’Allesandro Stadium this evening to meet fellow Section III, Class “AA” independent Proctor.
It was a battle of two old rivals in Utica and fans would expect nothing but the effort we got from these two old foes.
For RFA coach Chad Reese and his Black Knights the trip to East Utica was an important one. One that could propel the Romans to a spot in the playoffs if they could pull out a much needed win. It would also be a chance for RFA to get revenge on the Raiders who beat them (1-0) back on 9/8 at the stadium in Rome.
The Knights were looking to make it three straight wins entering action having beaten Central Square and Corcoran last week.
The Black Knights used a methodical, deliberate approach to slow down the fleet footed Raiders and pulled off a big 3-1 upset.
The Raiders were involved in a very physical, hard fought game with Henninger on Monday, which the Raiders won, 3-2.
The Raiders appeared to a step slower than normal tonight and RFA capitalized at every turn.
This despite having a well balanced offense led by leading scorer Mohamed Haji who had netted 5 goals and handed out 3 assists as the Knights came to town.
The Raiders were also trying to make it three straight when the two teams met on the pitch at Proctor.
Proctor, which entered tonight’s game with a record of (8-2), did get on the board first tonight at the 22:15 mark of the first half when Mohamed Haji made a mad dash through traffic in front of the RFA goal and laced a hard shot past Black Knights keeper Spencer Kahler, giving the Raiders a 1-0 lead early on.
The Romans answered with a goal by Randy Linderman, who crashed the Proctor net from his defensive position, knocking a loose ball past Proctor’s Refik Begic to knot the match at 1-1.
The two teams went to the intermission tied at one apiece, but Proctor held a sizeable advantage in shots on goal at 6-2.
As the night air got colder, the Black Knights heated up their game in the second half.
At the 4:10 mark of half number two, Jacob Pohl took advantage of Proctor’s Begic leaving his goal wide open as he attempted to get to a ball that was heading just wide of the goal.
Instead, Pohl beat Begic to the loose ball and knocked it past Begic and Proctor’s Said Begic who raced into the goal mouth to try to block Pohl’s shot.
Pohl’s goal gave RFA a 2-1 lead over a stunned Raiders team.
After battling the remainder of the second half with two extra defenders in their own end, RFA added a third goal with just 31.5 seconds remaining in the match when sawyer Sawyer Razy again drew Begic well away from his goal and netted Rome’s third goal to seal the victory for the Black Knights.
With the win, RFA improves to (5-4) on the season and will definitely benefit from the victory when it comes to Section III Playoff seeding time.
Proctor dropped to (8-3) with the loss.
RFA keeper Spencer Kahler finished with 11 saves on 12 shots, while Refik Begic finished with 7 saves on 10 shots.
RFA returns to action against Class “A” Whitesboro on Saturday, while Proctor will look to get back to their winning ways on Friday at Baldwinsville.
Rome Free Academy 3 Proctor 1
1 2 Total
RFA 1 2 3
Proctor 1 0 1