EMMA KNIGHT / THE EAGLE
Alassane Kane had not scored a goal since Aug. 30, but delivered twice when it mattered most against Navy.
The senior forward scored in the 83rd minute, then again in the 92nd minute to lead the AU men’s soccer team past the Midshipmen, 3-2, Oct. 20 at Reeves Field.
“It was huge because as a striker, you always want to score,” Kane said. “When you go through droughts, you always have to keep yourself motivated and positive, so hopefully when that chance comes you can take it.”
With the game tied 2-2, the Eagles took the ball off Dave Arnold’s foot in the midfield. AU’s Seth Goldman then sent the ball wide to Colin Seigfreid, who carried it 20 yards down the right side of the field.
Seigfreid’s service into the box found Kane, who notched the golden goal just over a minute into overtime to keep AU in first place in the Patriot League.
“It’s an exciting win and I’m thrilled for the guys,” AU Head Coach Todd West said. “We played against a very good team and it keeps us on top, so I’m relieved but I’m also excited for everyone. You’ll take any goal to win it, but I think it’s a great goal that won it.”
Navy (6-5-3, 1-2-2 PL) struck early off its first corner. AU goalkeeper Billy Knutsen punched out Grant Valenstein’s cross, but the ball fell to the feet of Nick Dubee, who put the Midshipmen in front 1-0.
The Eagles (8-5-2, 3-0-2 PL) answered for the first time in the 18th minute, when Seigfreid sent a ball to Dale McDonald. Before McDonald could get a clean shot off, Dubee’s clearance forced Navy goalkeeper Gavin Snyder to dive for the deflection, and Seigfreid was there to slip it in.
After both teams went into the locker room knotted at 1-1, Alex Wilson teed off from 20 yards out to make it 2-1 Navy when the Eagles failed to clear the ball out of their end on numerous occasions.
Kane broke his 11-game scoreless drought in the 83rd minute, when Seigfreid’s corner kick went over everyone except Kane, who headed the ball in from the opposite post.
Knutsen matched a career-high with eight saves, proving to be key in the game’s final minutes.
“I just got to do what I can do to keep the team in it,” Knutsen said. “Can’t really score too many goals, so I got to do my part, and our defense helped out a lot today, so it was good. This team shows that we’ve got a lot of heart.”
AU will look to take another step towards hosting the PL Tournament when it plays at Lehigh Oct. 27.
“The guys have been resilient,” West said. “We’ve played five conference games, four have been in overtime and we’re undefeated in those games,” West said. “These guys are going to fight.”