RADFORD, VA--NJIT redshirt junior Rene White found the back of the net on two separate occasions as the NJIT men's soccer team played to a 2-2 double-overtime draw at Radford in non-conference men's soccer action at Cupp Stadium.
With 8:06 left in the second overtime, both teams cleared the field due to lighting in the Radford area. A decision was made by the officials and both coaching staffs to end in a 2-2 draw with concerns of player injuries and no line of sight in-between opportunities to conclude the game with lighting strikes in the eight-mile vicinity.
NJIT, which entered the week ranked No. 2 in the United Soccer Coaches Atlantic Region, remains undefeated in 2019 with a 2-0-3 record. This season, four of NJIT's five matches have went to overtime, including three double overtime draws. Radford moves to 1-2-2 on the season.
"We started the game very well," head coach Fernando Barboto added postgame. "We had a lot of possession and created good chances to score. We took the lead and should of scored the second. We lost our focus on one play and it cost us a goal."
White, the Highlanders and ASUN Conference leader in goals, upped his season-mark to six goals after scoring goals in the 14th and 81st minute for NJIT.
White and Thomas Radon each combined for three shots apiece as Radford held a slight edge in shots, 15-11.
Freshman keeper Samuel Reisgys, reigning ASUN Conference Defensive Player of the Week, set a new personal mark, stopping seven shots.
"We battled back to 2-2 in the second half and I felt with our overtime experience and physical strength, we would of won it in overtime," Barboto added. "But the game had stopped due to lighting."
Nearly an early goal for NJIT on the road in the sixth minute, after a long ball down the right side served into the middle of the box, coming off the chest of Thomas Radon but Radford's freshman keeper made a sessional diving save to keep NJIT off the board.
An opportunity for Radford in the ninth minute from straight on outside the box by Baye Djibril Faye but NJIT's Samuel Reisgys cradled the ball.
White got the scoring started in the 14th minute on a ball sent over the Radford defense by senior Andrew Nino to White, who used a sideways kick, which deflected off the Radford keepers arm into the goal for his team-leading fifth goal.
NJIT had a pair of opportunities to score in the 15th and 16th minute. The first shot hit off the crossbar by Nicholas Kozdron and 45 seconds later, NJIT broke down the Radford defense, but Thomas Radon's shot sailed to the left of the frame.
Radford's Bryan Scoffield blasted a shot in the 17th minute, hitting the right post, nearly knotting the match.
The home team scored the equalizer in the 31st minute on a goal by Liam Deacy, his first of the season. NJIT keeper Reisgys made the initial save on Oumar Pape's shot. The ball was deflected off Reisgys' chest and Deacy was in position to collect the ball off the rebound and tie the match at 1-1.
NJIT scored eight of its 13 goals this season in the opening 45 minutes.
The visitors had two scoring chances in the first 10 minutes of the second half -- Radon (46th) and Juan Zapata (55th). Both shots were saved by Radford's Joseba Incera.
Radford went ahead, 2-1, in the 65th minute, on a pass served from the left side to Mouhameth Thiam, who side stepped his defender and blasted an up close shot over the Highlander keeper.
An exceptional save by Reisgys came in the 80th minute, after a quick turn by Radford's Juan Benavides, who blasted a left-footed shot.
A late goal by NJIT tied the match at 2-2 in the 81st minute, coming from NJIT's leading scorer, White, who netted his second goal of the match. Transfer Ryan Melink started the play on the right side, finding Nino in the middle, who slipped the ball in-between two Radford defenders. As White released, he scored to the left of the Radford keeper. The goal for White was his sixth of the season. Ryan Melink and Nino were credited with the assists.
NJIT had the best chance to score in the first overtime on a back pass by Andy Alvarez, to a running White but Radford's keeper extended his arms and denied the visitors.
NJIT will continue its three-game road stretch, visiting Fairleigh Dickinson on September 17 and at Stetson on September 21 to open 2019 ASUN Conference action.
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