Sunday, September 17th saw the Niagara Knights men's soccer program improve to 2-1 on the season with a dominant 4-2 road victory over the OCAA's No. 5 ranked St. Clair Saints in Windsor.
The Knights dominated the affair from the opening kickoff notching a pair of early goals in the 2' and 7' minutes of the match. Niagara Falls native Jordi Amores opened the scoring for the Knights. The veteran two-time OCAA all-star midfielder out of Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School has recorded goals in back-to-back games for the Knights.
Joining Amores on the score sheet early in the match was second year forward Marc-Andre Boucher (Niagara Falls). The former A.N. Myer Marauder is red hot for Niagara in the early stages of the season, notching goals in back-to-back outings for the Knights including the game winner on September 13th. Against the Saints, Boucher converted on a fantastic cross from veteran striker Carlos Williams (St. Catharines) in the seventh minute.
"Scoring a very early goal makes for a long 90 minutes" said Niagara College men's soccer head coach Frank DeChellis. "Managing your emotions after scoring or conceding early takes experience as it's mentally draining. We did that quite well most of the game."
After the opening flurry, the Knights continued to push the issue on the offensive end rattling off 14 first half shot attempts.
Third year defender Draven Stokes (Milton) buried a strike from 20 yards out in the 45th minute to stretch the Knights lead to three at halftime.
The second half saw the Knights begin to test their depth. "We become deeper every time a player comes off the bench and does well" continued DeChellis. "We are slowly working towards identifying three players for each position and three positions for each player."
Knights' rookie goalkeeper Robert Chita came in for Niagara in the second half, and played well in his debut. With substitutions made across the board for Niagara, the Knights "took our foot off the gas for 10 minutes or so" said DeChellis.
The Saints directed 11 second half shots towards the Knights goal, forcing Chita to make four saves including a spectacular penalty kick save late in the match. The home side notched two late goals in the 85th and 90th minute.
"We came away with three big points today" said Carlos Williams after the match. "We utilized our midfielders, attacked well in the final third and capitalized on our chances effectively and successfully. The high intensity of the game allowed us to prepare for similar situations and keep progressing on our team objectives."
The Knights now sport a record of 2-1 and sit in second place in the OCAA West Division. Up next the team will travel to Sarnia to face the Lambton Lions (0-2) on Saturday, September 23rd.