NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- A week after a an overtime marker from Evan Finnegan gave Monroe a 1-0 victory over ASA, the two sides met in New Rochelle on Halloween night to declare a Region XV champion. At the end of a hard-fought, physical game, it was the Avengers whom held on for a 2-1 win, ending the Mustangs season with an impressive 11-2-1 record.
ASA came out attacking early on and it was the Monroe goalkeeper, Robert Ekroll, whom impressed early. The Norwegian made some clever saves to keep the Avengers off the scoreboard. Off a free kick that was a pace outside the penalty area, the kick went through the wall and just past a diving Ekroll. At the 2:11 mark, Ekroll punched away a shot that came off an ASA corner kick. The freshman then made a sprawling save on the rebounded shot that came his way.
ASA got the better of the freshman netminder at the half-hour mark when a one-timer, header flew past him off antoher set piece. The Mustangs nearly tied the game five minutes later in transition. After getting the ball on his own end, defender, Abdi Said, played a long ball down the middle of the pitch for Finnegan whom flicked it to Kahdim Seye, whose header hit the crossbar and went to safety. The Avengers took a 1-0 lead in the break.
Both sides battled for possession early in the first half, with neither side having any good scoring chances. ASA went ahead just past the hour marke with a goal that made the score 2-0. From there, Monroe responded. Despite losing a player to a red card, the team attacked and pushed the ball on offense. Finally, in the 73rd minute, Jordan Kinoshi found Jaime Hinchliffe for a goal and the Mustangs were within 2-1.
They pressed the rest of the way, and both Kalifa Sylla and Hinchliffe had chances to score on difficult angles, but there shots went just wide. Ekroll made several impressive saves, including a parry on a three-on-none breakaway. In the end, ASA held on for a 2-1 win and earned the Region 15 Championship.