Syracuse Silver Knights win huge game, and holds media game at halftime
The Syracuse Silver Knights held a special media soccer game at halftime of their contest on Friday.
Click the video to watch our own Wayne Mahar and myself play for the "pink" team.
Below is the Knights' story on their win over Wichita, which got them within a half game of a playoff spot.
SYRACUSE, NY - The Syracuse Silver Knights defeated the Wichita Wings, 15-10, late Friday night keeping their playoff dreams alive. The Knights beat the Wings for the first time this year with the help of a boisterous home crowd.
Syracuse did a great job maintaining possession, but struggled to push the ball into Wichitaâ??s defensive third for the beginning of the game. A nice series of shot by the Wings forced a lot of pressure onto the Knightsâ?? defense. Bryan Oâ??Quinn made a nice group of saves, before a ball that ricocheted off himself, found its way into the net off Kevin Ten Eyckâ??s foot.
With the home crowd on their side, Syracuse did not stay down for long thanks to their leading scorer, Neto. Just two minutes later, Neto showed off some fancy footwork finishing the play with a turn around quick shot that flew by the near post and evened the score. Neto ran into the crowd, kissed his mother and celebrated with the Syracuse faithful. The Oncenter erupted with cheers and gave the Knights momentum.
The Knights used the energy to start off the second quarter right. Santana took a restart, playing the ball perfectly off the boards and finding Kenardo Forbes, who rocketed the ball into the upper 90.
Six minutes later, Nate Bourdeau led a beautiful counterattack and sent the ball across the box to a streaking Derek Popovich. Popovich buried the ball in the far corner for his first career indoor goal, tallying his first goal with the Knights and increasing the lead 6-2.
After the Wingsâ?? Freddie Moojen cut the lead with a score, Bryan Oâ??Quinn kept the Knights on top with two point blank saves off back-to-back shots. The Knights finished the half on top 6-4, looking to get their first win of the season against Wichita and trying to keep their playoff chances alive.
Syracuse worked hard to maintain possession for the first five minutes of the quarter and were playing a very controlled game. After the Wingsâ?? goalie was called for a handball outside of the box, Neto had an opportunity for a shootout. Proving why he is the third leading scorer in the league, Neto played the shoot out perfectly, doubling the Silver Knights advantage.
The Knights settled in the third quarter and were really dictating the game. Just two minutes later, Andriy Budnyy laced a 3 pt goal, his 13th goal of the year, from the top of the arc stretching the home team lead, 11-4.
After a Wingsâ?? score, the Knightsâ?? crowd kept Syracuse in good spirits. Josh Bennett won the ball at midfield and sent a long ball to Budnyy. He played it back to Ubiparipovic who laid the ball right into the lower corner, sending the Oncenter into an uproar.
Tensions rose as both teams physically challenged each other. Still, the Knights headed into the final quarter up 7 points.
After a back and fourth final period, the Wings scored two goals, one sent in from the left corner of the field while the other was tapped in off a shot just outside the box. The Wings had cut the lead to one possession and placed some pressure on Syracuse.
The Knights proved up to the challenge and kept their aggression high as they closed out the game strong. Santana gave the Knightâ??s fans one more treat and rocketed a beautiful goal with just 22 seconds left.
Syracuse will take on the Milwaukee Wave Wednesday February 27th at 7 pm, their last regular season home game of the year. Come cheer on the team as they continue their playoff push!