Fit to be tied on Homecoming

Profile and Littleton boys battle to 2-2 draw

by Corey McKean
Sports reporter - The Littleton Courier

Logan Briggs (15) gets his head on a pass from Cy Kezerian, which finds its way into the back of the net to give Littleton a 2-0 lead. Corey McKean. (click for larger version)
September 19, 2016
BETHLEHEM — Two of the top teams currently in Division IV met up for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 17 as the Profile Patriots hosted the undefeated Littleton Crusaders for their Homecoming match. It was all Littleton in the early going as they dominated play, which led to two goals back to back late in the first half, which put the Crusaders up 2-0 at halftime.

Profile wouldn't go away however, as the Patriots put a goal away early in the second half, which led to a huge momentum swing in their favor. The Patriots dominated possession for the remainder of the second half, continuing to put pressure on the Crusader back line, which led to their final goal, which came from a beautiful strike off the foot of Sam Greene, knotting the score up a 2-2 and bringing the game into overtime. In overtime, neither team would find the back of the net again, resulting in a 2-2 tie.

The two teams were neck and neck to start the match but the Crusaders would be the first to settle down and control play, which ultimately led to their first goal. Littleton would go up by a score of 1-0 in the 24th minute as right fullback Jason Brammer sent a clearing, long ball out of the back up to forward Danny Kubkowski. Kubkowski ran onto the pass, made a cut to the middle of the field and finished with a shot in the lower right corner, giving the Crusaders a 1-0 advantage.

In the 38th minute, Littleton struck again, as the Crusaders drew a free kick from 35 yards out where Cy Kezerian would float a ball perfectly into the middle of the Profile defense. Logan Briggs was there to rise above the Patriot defenders and get his head to the ball, with his back to the goal. The shot would bounce off the ground and graze the bottom of the crossbar and fall into the back of the net, extending the Littleton lead to 2-0 at the half.

The Patriots came out of halftime an entirely new team as they settled down and got back to playing their controlled style of play. This led to their first goal of the match in the 47th minute, as Hanzon Hunt picked up a loose ball near the 18, split two Littleton defenders, and calmly placed a shot into the lower left corner of the net to bring the score to 2-1 with 33 minutes left to play.

The Hunt goal was just what Profile needed to get back on track as they carried the momentum from the goal throughout the entire second half. The Patriots were constantly pressuring Littleton's defense and it was only a matter of time before a goal would be put in.

It wasn't until the 73rd minute, however, with just seven minutes remaining in the game, that Profile would knot the score up at 2-2 as the Patriots drew a free kick from 25 yards out. Profile's Sam Greene stepped up to take the shot and he had a hit that he will remember forever, placing a beautiful strike into the upper right corner of the net past an outstretched Quintin Ross to bring the Patriots even with Littleton.

The teams went into overtime, knotted at 2-2, where Profile continued to control the game but struggled to put the ball on frame. The two teams went into double overtime where still nothing separated them, ending in a 2-2 tie.

"Our boys started off a little sluggish in the first half, but stepped up their game going into the second half. They kept improving as time wound down and really played their best in the overtime periods. Although we all would have loved to see a big win at homecoming, a close tie with Littleton felt like a win. It was great to see how well our team possessed the ball, their passing has improved a lot since the beginning of the season, and we keep getting better, said Profile Coach Brent Detamore.

"It was a game of two halves," explained Littleton coach Jo Gardner. "We showed up for the first, out shot and played with more intensity in the first and then we just didn't match Profile's intensity in the second. We were still able to continue our attacks and outshoot them but we fell into a bit of undisciplined play, causing us to face pressure in our defensive end. We weren't aggressive enough to the ball and let them get too many breaks. The two overtimes played out pretty even, with both teams creating chances but unable to finish. Overall it was a great match, very exciting and entertaining for the fans. Overall, I'm happy with the way the boys played. We'll make some adjustments and move on from here."

The Patriots were led by Hunt and Greene who had a goal each while the Crusaders were led by Kubkowski and Briggs with a goal each.

Littleton moves to a record of 5-1-0 on the season while Profile moves to a record of 5-1-1. The two teams will see each other again on Saturday, Sept. 24, as the Patriots travel to play the Crusaders at their Homecoming. Game time is posted for 8 p.m. under the lights.

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