continued Lawson had some help from his defense, too. One shot in the first half bounced off Lawson’s hands and right to a pair of Shen players in front of the goal, but Colonie’s defense swooped in and kicked the ball away to prevent any further damage.
Colonie’s speedy counter attack paid off with less than 12 minutes left in the first half when Osipitan was fouled at the top of the penalty box as he tried to charge in for a shot. Smiroldo took the direct kick and buried the ball past Shen goaltender Spencer Junco to give the Garnet Raiders a 1-0 lead.
Shen kept coming at Colonie’s defense early in the second half. Barlow had a breakaway opportunity stifled by a hard-charging Garnet Raider defender, and Lawson punched away a Dan Cavosie free kick in the first 13 minutes to maintain Colonie’s lead.
The Plainsmen pulled even two minutes later, though. Barlow charged in and took a shot that went off the left goal post. The ball was eventually sent back to Jenkins, who struck a grounder that snuck behind Lawson and tucked inside the left post.
“I was on the ground for a second [after taking the initial shot], so I didn’t see the ball going back at first,” said Barlow. “I just hoped someone would be there to clean it up, and Michael [Jenkins] was there.”
Lawson made several more saves to keep the score tied before Barlow put Shen ahead to stay with a hard liner that hit the back right corner of the goal.
“It was bound to come sooner or later, and thank God it went in,” said Barlow.
“Barlow stepped it up in the second half,” said Campisi. “He was the one who hit it off the post and Jenkins cleaned it up, and then his goal was a beautiful shot.”