Sports

Tech loses lead in final minute, draws Essex Tech 2-2

Tech center midfielder Erikson Licardie sends a corner kick towards Essex Tech's net.

DANVERS — The Lynn Tech Tigers learned a valuable lesson in their game against Essex Tech on Tuesday afternoon: play through the final whistle.

With the Tigers up 2-1 with just a minute remaining, Danvers forward and senior captain Ryan Lovasco had a long throw-in about 15 yards away from the left corner flag. Lovasco was able to get the ball into the penalty box on the throw and with no Lynn Tech defenders on the post to help out goaltender Pedro Bamaca, Essex midfielder Peter Tsoutsouras was able to lift the ball right over Bamaca, and tie the game at 2 with under a minute to play.

The tying goal was devastating for Lynn Tech as they appeared to be well on their way getting their sixth win on the season, but ultimately, that was not how the story wound up being written.

“We were not able to finish,” said Lynn Tech Head Coach Eric Moreno. “We had a lot of open shots that we were not able to put them away. I think if we put them away, our team momentum would be better and we would have a better result.”

Moreno was telling the truth when he talked about his team’s missed scoring opportunities. The Tigers had a number of scoring chances in the first half, but failed to capitalize.

Freshman defenseman Anthony Zavala played a nice through ball to senior winger Kevin Yuman on the left wing in the offensive zone. Yuman took the pass and crossed low and into the penalty box where winger Gregoire Amissi was waiting, but the ball was just out of his reach and skipped to the other side of the field.

Moments later, Yuman took a direct kick in Essex’s part of the field. Yuman’s kick was placed perfectly and gave Amissi a shot at the goal when he elevated and headed the ball towards the top of the net. Essex Tech goalkeeper Guido Ianalfo was able to get just enough of his hand on the ball, however, as he extended his arm backwards, tipping the ball up as it bounced off the crossbar and back into his arms as he came to the ground.

Those missed scoring chances for Lynn Tech sent them into the half deadlocked with Essex, 0-0.

It was a totally different story in the second half. In the opening minutes after halftime, senior center midfielder Erikson Licardie scored off of a direct kick, this time getting the right bounce from the crossbar as it hit the top and immediately bounced downward and behind Ianalfo to put the Tigers up 1-0.

“We had been training [free kicks],” said Licardie. “I was the one that was chosen to take the free kick and I looked up, I took the shot, and it hit the post and went in.”

For most of the second half after that goal, Lynn Tech dominated possession of the ball and seemed to have full command of the game until Tsoutsouras tied the game at 1-1 on a rebound. Essex was finally able to get control of the ball in their offensive zone and send a shot on net that looked like it was on its way to finding the mesh. However, junior defenseman Julio Guillen was standing on the goal line next to his keeper and was able to deny the shot – but he couldn’t fully clear the ball out of the zone, allowing Tsoutsouras to capitalize and pitch the ball over Bamaca.

Tech would later break the tie when junior Felipe De Oliviera sent a shot into a cluster of Lynn Tech and Essex players that ricocheted off a number of players before the ball found Licardie for his second goal of the night.

“It was a rebound, I was just waiting, seeing if our striker would hit the ball, and luckily it came right to my feet and I took the shot and it went into the bottom corner,” Licardie said.

After that goal, which came very late in the second half, Essex became desperate and used all of the bodies on the field to push up the field and attempt to keep the ball in the opposing zone. Ianalfo came up from his net to help his offense which showed how close Lynn Tech really came to victory. The Tigers would quickly see the win dissipate in front of their eyes as Tsoutsouras scored his second goal in the contest. It was a tough pill to swallow for Lynn Tech as the team has been jockeying for first place in the Massachusetts Division North 4 standings.

“It’s just simple, we didn’t mark up at the end,” said Licardie. “Unfortunately on that last play, he headed it in and nobody was in the middle.”

Moreno stated that his team had a difficult time finishing games this season and that will be something he and his team will try to work on as the Tigers make their playoff push.

“Moving forward, it was tied 2-2, could’ve been a win on our end. We weren’t able to finish and, moving forward, we just got to try to improve in finishing,” he said.

With the tie, the Tigers now post a record of 5-2-3 and will try to play out a full 80 minutes on Thursday when they travel to face Mystic Valley Regional on the road.

Ryan Vermette can be reached at ryan@itemlive.com

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