Eagles Earn First Eastern Conference Championship
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Statesboro, GA – The Charlotte Eagles captured their first PDL Eastern Conference Championship on Sunday night in Statesboro, Georgia thanks to a 4-2 after extra time win in a penalty shootout vs the Long Island Rough Riders. James Pyle came up with a save in the 4th round of the shoot out to seal the victory for Charlotte. The Eagles now advance to the PDL Final Four, location TBD, next Saturday, July 29th.
Both teams approached the Championship match with caution in the first 10 minutes, with Long Island forcing a save out of James Pyle in the 11th minute as the first action of the game. Charlotte had a chance in the 26th minute as Ryan Williams’ free kick was saved by the Long Island keeper.
Long Island came close to a breakthrough in the 37th minute as their long range shot narrowly missed the far-right post of Pyle.
The best chance for Long Island came in the 40th minute as they earned a penalty after Foster Appiah got tangled up with the Long Island forward to earn the chance.
James Pyle made an outstanding save to keep the game scoreless, as he dove to his left and got a hand on a shot headed for the corner of the net.
Charlotte, riding the momentum of the penalty save, pressed Long Island and took advantage as the earned a free kick at the top of the Rough Riders box. Ryan Williams stepped up to take the free kick and saw his shot hit the arm of a defender to earn the Eagles a penalty in the 45th minute of play.
Williams stepped up and buried his chance to give Charlotte a 1-0 lead at the halftime break.
Charlotte came out of the break pressing for their second goal but Williams saw his shot in the 53rd minute saved and out for a corner.
Charlotte was close to seeing the game out in regulation until Long Island scored their equalizer in the 83rd minute. A ball played in found it’s way to a Rough Riders winger at the back post who took a touch to settle the ball and send it past Pyle to equalize at 1-1.
For the second match in a row this weekend the Eagles would see their match head to extra time. Both teams would have chances in the extra 30 minutes but neither side would find the break through so it was on to penalties.
Charlotte won the toss and decided to take the first attempt. Ryan Williams stepped up and gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Long Island equalized at the end of round 1 before Shavon John-Brown to give Charlotte the 2-1 advantage. Long Island stepped up and sent their attempt wide of the goal to keep the score 2-1, Charlotte. Mutaya Mwape stepped up for round 3 and gave Charlotte a 3-1 lead, before Long Island made it 3-2 after 3 rounds. Douglas Oliveira stepped up to the spot and made it 4-2 before James Pyle made the save to win the match 4-2 on penalties.
Charlotte now waits to find out who and where they will play in the National Final Four to be held on July 29th.
We’ll Keep the Orange Flag Flying High!