Goals by Cody Koesters and Luis Delgado – as well as some fantastic goalkeeping by Alex Howe – was enough to earn the Ancilla College men’s soccer team a hard-earned 2-2 double-overtime draw with NJCAA #5-ranked Schoolcraft College on Friday.
With the draw, Ancilla (3-4-1, 3-4-1 Region 12) became the first MCCAA-affiliated team since the 2004 season to avoid losing to the Ocelots (5-1-1, 3-0-1 Region 12) in regulation play. They are also the first NJCAA team this season to earn a result against Schoolcraft, whose only loss of the year came to Canadian-based University of Windsor.
“It was a great result for the guys and a great result for our program,” said Ancilla soccer coach James Drzewiecki. “Schoolcraft is a very well coached team, and they made sure we had to fight to earn this point. I know we certainly respect them as an opponent, and to play them even for 110 minutes is great for our team morale going forward.”
The Ocelots were aggressive from the outset and took a lead in the 11th minute when Nate Hicklin headed in a free kick for the 1-0 advantage.
Shortly thereafter, Ancilla changed to a more attacking-minded formation, a move that paid dividends almost immediately. Remezan Abdullah found space on the right side and got behind the Schoolcraft defense before slotting the ball over to Koesters for the equalizer. It was Koesters’s team-leading seventh goal of the campaign.
It looked like both teams would go into the break tied, but with just seven seconds remaining in the half, a quick throw-in and cross found Mark Djokaj. The sophomore redirected the ball past Howe for a 2-1 advantage going into the break.
Schoolcraft piled on the pressure even further in the second half, but could not find a way to finish past Howe. The freshman keeper finished with 16 saves on the day – including several highlight reel-quality stops
In the 70th minute, Ancilla’s resolve paid dividends when Koesters picked out Delgado on the back post with his cross. The sophomore midfielder sent a looping header over Schoolcraft’s Ian McDonald-Wilkins and into the far net for the final tally.
The Chargers will resume play on Sunday when they travel to University Center, MI, to play MCCAA and Region 12 rival Delta College. Kickoff is at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.
Ancilla College is a Catholic, two-year, co-educational, liberal arts college in Donaldson, Indiana sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.