Queens, NY – October 28th, 2018 – The ASA Avengers men's soccer team played against Monroe Mustangs for the 2018 NJCAA Region XV Championships over at St. John's University's Belson Stadium, Queens, NY. The Avengers was no stranger to playing in the rain this season, however this time, they played under a Nor'easter.
The first ten minutes of the game started off chaotically, with the Avengers choosing to sit back and let Monroe dictate the pace of the game and reacting. One of the Avengers star players, Hwang Eun-Seouk, has been dealing with a knee injury, and as a result has only played one game this season. To protect him, the team decided for Hwang to come in half-way into the first half. The first half ended in 0-1 in favor of Monroe College.
Back at the locker-room, the team regrouped and made their necessary adjustments. From the start of the second half, it was clear the adjustments paid off. Hwang was able to quick score off an assist from DeAndre Gordon and a few minutes after Hwang scored again off a penalty kick. However, Monroe scored a goal after the Avengers' goalkeeper suffered an injury to the nose and took away the ASA Avenger's momentum. From then on, both teams were unable to score in the rest of second half amid the downpour from the Nor'easter. Both teams were also unable to score in overtime and double overtime and the game went into penalty shootout. The Avengers missed the 5th goal and the game ended in a tie 2-2 with Monroe Mustangs advancing by penalty.
"It was a great game," said ASA Avengers men's soccer head coach Brett Polow. "The game went down as a tie, we didn't move on because we conceded the penalty kick. It's the only sport where you tie the game and then still lose."
"One of the things that we can take away from the game is that we have a lot of freshmen in our team and it lit a fire under them. My message to them is this: What's your plan to get better. How are you going to get to these games, the games that matter, the games that count, and do better the next time around."
On the offense – "Our attack was super dynamic, we had our opportunities but we just couldn't convert them. This team is built to win the National Championship. We just need to continue improving our technique."
On the defense – "The defenders gave the best game for last. It was difficult for Monroe to penetrate. They couldn't break our defense. Our defenders earned the tie."