Second Half Surge Powers Silver Knights Over Heat

by Christian De Guzman

Five Different Knights Score in 5-2 Opening Night Win

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Syracuse Silver Knights opened the club’s sixth season in style, defeating the Harrisburg Heat 5-2 in an Eastern Division battle in the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL). The Knights stormed back in the second half to win the match, erasing a 2-0 halftime deficit and energizing the home crowd at Dave and Buster’s Field in the War Memorial Arena at Oncenter.

Harrisburg provided all the scoring in the first half. The Heat recorded its first goal with 6:39 left in the first period from midfielder Yaikel Perez. He slotted home a shot off a pass from Heat midfielder Ricardo Carvalho for a 1-0 Harrisburg lead.

Carvalho contributed to the Heat’s second goal in the second period. On a Harrisburg free kick, the midfielder earned his second assist of the night as he laid off the ball to Heat midfielder Lucio Gonzaga. Lucio rifled a shot to the left of Silver Knights goalie Andrew Coughlin to extend the Heat lead to 2-0.

In the second half, the Knights turned things around. New Silver Knights forward Moises Gonzalez made his Syracuse debut with a bang. After receiving a pass from Jake Schindler, last year’s third leading scorer in the MASL recorded his first goal in a Silver Knights uniform with a laser into the back of the Heat net. That score cut the Syracuse deficit to 2-1 with 10:22 left in the third period.

Antonio Manfut continued the scoring 80 seconds later. His shot from the left side of the Heat goal found the back of the net and tied the match at 2-2 with 9:02 left in the third period.

Syracuse took the lead for good in the fourth period. Last year’s leading Silver Knights scorer, Jerjer Gibson, got the scoring started quickly in the final frame. He poked a shot passed Heat keeper Hugo DaSilva to give the Silver Knights the lead 3-2 in the fourth period.

The goal of the game came with 10:30 left in the fourth period. Syracuse earned a free kick at the top of the key, and Slavisa Ubiparipovic stood wide to the right of the ball. After a long run-up, his left-footed effort was hit hard into the top left corner of the Heat goal to double the Silver Knight advantage, 4-2.

The dagger came with 5:28 left in the fourth. Kenardo Forbes got free down the left-hand side of the turf and as DaSilva charged out of his goal Forbes went five-hole and slotted a shot between the legs of the Heat goalie to give Syracuse a 5-2 lead.

That was the final score in the match as a crowd of 3,606 people were sent home happy as the Syracuse Silver Knights opened the 2016-17 MASL season with a win. The Silver Knights will be back in action on Saturday, November 26th at 7:00 p.m. when the Florida Tropics visit Dave and Buster’s Field in the War Memorial Arena.