The saints opened their 2014 season with a tough trip against nationally recognized Genesee CC, making the 2 hour trip into New York on Thursday evening.
Handing 6 incoming freshman their college debut, coach Blythe must have been happy with the early exchanges as both Michael Lennox and Dean Shousher looked to penetrate behind the GCC back line. Freshman goalkeeper Craig Martin registered 3 saves to deny GCC and keep the talented opposition line at bay.
In a tightly contested first half a strong rearguard performance saw the saints frustrate the cougars, refusing to be intimidated by the home crowd and going into the half level.
The second 45 saw GCC make a number of changes, demonstrating their squad depth and causing a number of problems in the opening 10 minutes. Eric Kennedy and Nate Angelo in the heart of the saints defense stood strong to the barrage of cougar attacks, as GCC pushed forward looking for the elusive first goal.
Saints grew in stature as the game went on, with Chase Hoffman demonstrating why he claimed the Mercer High School goal scoring record last year. The former mustang probed the GCC back line tirelessly, with assistance from midfield provided by Tristan Desnerck (Southwestern) and Jason Aguirre (Central Tech)
With the game gridlocked at 0-0 it became apparent a single game would be enough to claim the win. The saints seemed to grow as the game continued, remaining focused on defensive shape with the experienced Shane MacDonald showing leadership qualities. Saints almost found the net through Michael Lennox in the 5 minutes, but the GCC keeper saved his stinging shot for the edge of the 18 yard box.
With the game finely poised, the saints got the breakthrough in dramatic fashion after 4 minutes of overtime. Dean Shousher (Oregon, OH) latched onto a Desnerck throughball, firing low to the goalkeepers right. His stinging shot was only half saved by the 'keeper, allowing chase Hoffman to finish from close range and send the Saints into rapture. No less then the team deserved after such a hardworking team effort, sparking scenes of delight from all saints soccer players and fans alike.
The Saints are back in action as they travel to the Finger Lakes this weekend in the FLCC Classic on Saturday and Sunday