The Albany Rebels beat Syracuse in extra time and lost to Toronto and Montreal to come in 3rd place at the Syracuse Tournament on Saturday. The Rebels showed improvement in many areas, notably possession, kick-passing and goal scoring, but struggled with fitness as the games went on.
Albany won its first game of the day in thrilling fashion. Down three points with less than a minute left in the game, Ryan Moloney took the ball through the midfield and unleashed a shot past the keeper into the right side of the net.
“It was a great feeling to lift our team spirits and regain the momentum going into extra time by putting one in the net, especially considering how well their goalkeeper was playing,” said Moloney, who also had three points in the game.
The goal forced a 5-minute extra period where the Rebels played some of their best football of the season. They controlled possession, played strong team defense, and worked two points by Mike Nolan and Joe Donlon to secure the 1-12 (15 points) to 2-7 (13 points) win. Rebels back Dylan Conklin made a potential goal-saving block near the right post, but unfortunately, was injured in the match and could not return.
The Rebels lost their second game of the day against Toronto. Though playing a senior level team comprised mostly of Irish players, the Rebels were only down by three points early in the second half when midfielder Mark Adam looped a shot from distance over the keeper for a goal. However, the Rebels ran out of gas and Toronto poured it on with four goals to win 6-13 (31 points) to 3-3 (12 points).
Albany bounced back with a strong performance against Montreal. Adam scored three goals and three points and Joe Bradley scored his second goal of the day, but again, Albany tired in the second half and couldn’t close the gap, losing 4-11 (23 points) to 4-4 (16 points).
“What was especially pleasing was the continued development and improvement of individuals but also how we played as a group,” said forward Cillian Flavin. “We eliminated much of our mistakes from other games and there were times against Montreal especially where we controlled the game. Our forwards worked tirelessly and defended from the front while the midfield and defense improved greatly in terms of maintaining possession.”
Other Rebels who scored during the tournament included Flavin, Paul Acosta and Brian Kannaley.
The Rebels return to action on Saturday, August 4 when they play the second-leg of the New York Cup at Syracuse. The Rebels won the first leg 4-23 (35 points) to 2-12 (18 points).