Silver Knights Win OT Thriller

Kenardo Forbes is the hero in overtime as Syracuse starts the season with a win

Kenardo Forbes scored his only goal of the game in overtime to give Syracuse a 7-6 victory over Turlock. The Silver Knights scored the final three goals of the match to secure a victory in their season opener.

“This is a huge win for the boys and the organization,” said Silver Knights Head Coach Ryan Hall. “Playing on the west coast, against a quality team, in a very difficult arena, the boys showed a lot of heart and character tonight.”

Both teams traded goals in the first quarter. Turlock got the scoring started with a goal from Jose Barajas. Moments later, Slavisa Ubiparipovic sat in the middle of the box to tap home a shot. The all-time points leader in Syracuse history equalized the game after one quarter of play.

Turlock found more opportunities to score in the second quarter, especially on the counter attack. Jorge Carmona, Adrian Gutierrez, and Ivan Campos found the back of the net for the Express. One of the best goals of the game, however, came from Ubiparipovic. The Bosnian found space from outside the box and rifled a shot into the back of the net. Entering halftime, however, the Silver Knights trailed 4-2.

Once again, in the third quarter, the two teams traded goals. Joey Tavernese found the scoresheet after deflecting a free kick from Jake Schindler. On the flip side, Barsin Eisavi got behind the Silver Knights defense and powered a shot past Andrew Coughlin to score. Syracuse had a lot of ground to make up. They trailed 5-3 after three quarters of play.

The fourth quarter started with another trade of goals. Taverense deflected in another free kick, this one from Ubiparipovic to cut the Express lead to one. However, Martyn Arista took advantage of a Coughlin mistake, and Turlock regained its two-goal lead.

That’s when the Syracuse offense came alive. Nick Perera, who joined the club in the past week, scored for the first time in a Silver Knights uniformed to cut the deficit back to one. Then, Schindler replicated Ubiparipovic’s strike from the second quarter with a boot from distance. Schindler’s strike from the right-hand side of the pitch sizzled into the back of the net to tie the game at 6-6.

Syracuse continued to push the offensive tempo at the end of regulation and in overtime. Multiple shots from players such as Perera and Ubiparipovic just missed wide or high past the cage. The Silver Knights out-shot the Express ten shots to one between the fourth quarter and overtime.

In overtime, the Syracuse pressure eventually came through. Darren Toby won the ball in midfield, and found Forbes down the right-hand side of the turf. He played a one-two ball with Perera, and the Jamaican found himself in space outside the box. Forbes rifled a driven shot low to the right of Edgar Martinez who couldn’t stop it. Last season’s Silver Knights MVP in Forbes walked away happy with a win for Syracuse.

“I am so proud of the guys,” said Silver Knights General Manager Tommy Tanner. “To keep coming back showed great character. They never gave up and deserved the result.”

Both goalies were tested throughout the game. Coughlin recorded nine saves on the day, while Martinez stopped 11 shots.

“We knew going in it would be a difficult place to play,” said Hall. “We tried our best to prepare for it but until that whistle blows it’s hard to replicated that atmosphere.”

Ubiparipovic and Tavernese recorded two goals each for Syracuse. Tavernese was the leading-goal scorer for the Silver Knights last season with 26. Ubiparipovic was fourth in the Silver Knights for goals scored with 16 last season. Forbes’ OT winner was his only point of the game. He lead all Silver Knights last year with 42.

“This is a huge step in the right direction for the team,” said Hall. “We definitely have things we need to work on, but I couldn’t be prouder of the effort tonight. Hats off to Turlock. They played a great game and their crowd was amazing.”

For Turlock, six different men scored in the match. Among the goal scorers were the top three men for the Express last season in points. Arista (30), Gutierrez (26), and Campos (26) got on the scoresheet for the Express.