The James Connolly Albany Rebels won their third straight match Saturday with a 3-9 (18 points) to 2-9 (15 points) victory against FDNY in Albany thanks to strong team defense and a balanced scoring attack.
Albany’s goals were scored by newcomer Beanán O’Loughlin, who punched a 50/50 ball past the keeper for his first goal in a Rebels jersey, Spencer Bassette, and Mark Adam.
The defense was anchored by Mike Lee, Tim Gerrish, Frank Cabe, and Paul Acosta with support coming from the midfield up.
“Our ability to deny goalscoring opportunities won us this game,” said player-coach Cillian Flavin. “A magnificent reaction save from Beanan from point blank range set the tone for a resolute defensive performance. Paul Acosta also played an absolute blinder, he made numerous key blocks and interceptions and had his best game yet in a Rebels jersey.”
The Rebels carried a lead into halftime and extended it to as much as nine points. The FDNY turned up the heat, scoring a goal late and creating a number of other chances. They had a golden opportunity when Albany’s keeper came out and partially blocked a shot, but it kept bouncing toward the goal. Ryan Moloney, who was playing halfback at the time, ran back and cleared the ball off the line as he fell spinning into the goal.
“I knew I could get to the ball in time, but I wasn't sure if I'd be able to clear it out,” Moloney said. “I'm sure it didn't look all that graceful, but luckily I managed to put it just wide of our goal before I crashed into the net.”
Lee put out another fire in front of Albany’s goal with less than five minutes left. As a loose ball bounced toward two FDNY players poised to collect it and shoot from eight meters away, Lee arrived just in time to knock it out of play, paying the price as he was hit to the ground.
“This was a great game for us as we came up against worthy opponents,” Flavin said. “The FDNY could easily have been the victor had they had a little bit of luck in front of goal, but we fought hard and earned the win. We really look forward to playing them again.”
Bassette and O’Loughlin split time in goal, each making multiple saves.
This was Albany’s first ever game against FDNY. After the game, the Rebels hosted their opponent for food and drinks at Pearl St. Pub in Albany.