Rockaway United Gains Hard Fought Draw On The Road
The Rockaway United Football Club kicked off its fall season in thrilling fashion. After a rugged introduction to the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League in the spring, the boys learned quite a bit from their first exposure to the higher quality of play. They incorporated those lessons and executed nicely on the field in Chelsea last Saturday to pull out a somewhat stunning comeback.
The squad has retooled since the spring and thought they could be more competitive and were validated on the field on the west side of Manhattan against the Chelsea Strikers.
Despite falling behind by two goals at the half, the RUFC knew they were on the verge of breaking through. Strong goalie play by the fearless Anthony Cimino kept them in it the entire game, and the big legs of Jack MacNamee and Jag Guidarelli were able to drive the ball downfield throughout the match.
Connor Baldwin struck early into the second half on a direct kick that he put into the corner of the net and breathed life into his entire squad.
Despite the new found confidence, the Strikers were able get down the field and take a commanding lead over the Rockaway United crew. They took a commanding 3-1 margin with only ten minutes to spare in the match. Luckily, the United squad did not give up, and Baldwin again put one on the board with some great baseline moves and snuck one past Chelsea's keeper.
Anticipating the match to be whistled over at any second, the United squad worked at a frantic pace. With seconds left in the match, Shane Collins was able to work the ball through one of the smallest of crevices and feed Guidarelli, who blasted in the tying goal near completion of regulation. All the hard work put in by the Rockaway United boys over the summer and in last spring's season paid off as the boys earned a hard fought tie. Newcomer John Baroudas dazzled on the field, along with strong play by other new additions Colm Williams and Owen Comer.