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Knights Pull Out the 2-1 Win over Mohawk

Knights Pull Out the 2-1 Win over Mohawk

September 30th, 2021... Welland - The Niagara College Knights moved to a 2-2 record after a 2-1 victory over Mohawk at Youngs Sportsplex last night- a starkly different result from September 21st when the Knights dropped a 5-1 decision to the Mountaineers.

The battle with the Mountaineers is a historic one, with both schools being in close vicinity of each other. For head coach Frank DeChellis, it's more than just a rivalry.

"Mohawk and Niagara College are rivals on many fronts, not just sports," said DeChellis. "Being a Mohawk graduate and former player, I really enjoy these games and that 5-1 loss at the beginning bugged me for, well, it still bugs me.  Our soccer rivalry specifically has been competitive and neither team can think the other will roll over and die.  I'll tell you one thing, we've had more Hamilton players in our program than they have had Niagara players and I like that. A lot."

The Knights opened up scoring in the first minute with free kick a blast from captain Joseph Nagnonhou that beat the Mohawk keeper. Not long after, Sunao Yamamoto popped a second goal for the Knights in behind the Mountaineers keep, to make it 2-0.

DeChellis was glad to see his team come out firing early to set the tempo.

"Scoring early is fun, but sets you up for a tense game defensively if you don't keep scoring, said DeChellis.  "We ended up battling a desperate Mohawk team for 80 minutes and that changes the dynamic of the game." "Our wings were really involved tonight and did a great job getting the ball into the box for our central players.  Our group is blessed with some speed out wide and tonight we used it more than the previous three games."

It was late in the second half before Mohawk found the back of the net after Naganonhou took a free kick to the side of the head and was sidelined for the rest of the game, allowing the Mountaineers to take advantange of the missing piece in the Knights back line. Mohawk's D'Angelo snuck one past Knights keeper Dawson Jordan to cut the Knights lead in half at 2-1 at 80 minute mark.

The Knights hung on through the rest of the match to secure to the 2-1 win- a much needed victory for the blue and white who lost their last two.

Knight's forward Travis Korten reflected on the positives he saw from his teammates in their important win tonight.

"We came out and set the tone of the game as soon it started," said Korten. " I thought as a team we truly played off each others energy and we kept a positive mentality till the final whistle, we need to keep this mentality for the upcoming games."

Christian Buccella echoed Korten's thoughts on the win.

"I felt like our boys knew how important today's match was and it was evident on the field. Changing our playing style to fit our strengths helped us come out on top today & I believe that with this group, we can make a strong push this season."

Niagara will hit the road for their second look at Sheridan College ( 4-0) before returning home for their final regular season game against Redeemer (2-2).

"It's so nice to play at home," said DeChellis. "The game day crew and our broadcasting program give the athletes and fans a first class experience and really showcase the college."