It wasn't the result that the Niagara Knights (6-2-1, 2nd OCAA West) were looking for when they boarded the bus to London on Tuesday afternoon. The Knights dropped a key 2-1 decision to the OCAA West leading Fanshawe Falcons (8-0-1, 1st OCAA West).
With a mathematical shot at first place in the division, Niagara entered the contest needing to secure three points against their divisional foe. However, it was an early corner that would get things started for the Falcons as they deposited one in the back of the cage to take an early one goal lead. A follow-up two minutes later off a defensive miscue would put the Falcons up by a pair in the 20th minute.
Second-year Electrical Engineering student Noah DiEgidio (Welland) would eventually for the Knights in the 75th minute, converted a well placed Jeremy Amores (St. Catharines) through ball to close the gap. It wouldn't be enough as Niagara was unable to complete a rally, ending what was a four-game unbeaten streak.
Head Coach Frank DeChellis was disappointed with the result, but was complimentary of his team's mental resolve as the match wore on. "We were unable to find our groove on a damp grass field, it was a major adjustment that we struggled to work around," said DeChellis. "However, one thing that impressed me was that we kept playing in a manner that has brought us recent success, instead of giving into frustration after going down 2-0 early."
With the loss, Niagara now finds themselves firmly planted in in the OCAA West's second spot, ahead of the Redeemer Royals (4-2-2, 3rd OCAA West). With the tiebreaker in their favour, the Knights need either a single point in their final match against the St. Clair Saints (4-4, 4th OCAA West) or for the Royals to tally a tie or loss in either of their two remaining matches. However, the Knights have already secured a home playoff date, which will take place on the weekend of October 20-21 against an opponent that is yet to be determined.
The Knights will close out the 2018 regular season with a home date against the St. Clair Saints on October 14th at Youngs Sportsplex. Kick-off is scheduled for 4pm, with admission being free to all spectators.