2015 US Open Cup Round 1: GBFC Thunder advance for first time, edging Western Mass Pioneers in PKs

Posted by | May 18, 2015
GBFC Thunder advance to play Rochester Rhinos (USL) in Round 2
Greater Binghamton FC ThunderGreater Binghamton FC Thunder  
1 : 1
Western Mass. Pioneers    Western Mass. Pioneers
GBFC Thunder advance 4-3 on penalty kicks
 Lusitano Stadium - Ludlow, MA 

Greater_Binghamton_FC_LogoDaniel Kraynak’s successful penalty sent Greater Binghamton Thunder FC (NPSL) on to the Second Round of the 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup after beating Western Mass Pioneers (PDL) 4-3 in a shootout after a 1-1 draw on Wednesday at Lusitano Stadium.

After Thunder keeper Jason Stenta made his second penalty stop, Kraynak sent his shot left, where it deflected off the fingertips of Pioneers keeper Nick Zucco and fell into the back of the net to seal the first round result for the guests. For the Thunder it was the first time they will advance to the next round in their second straight attempt. Last year, they lost 5-2 at Reading United.

The match went to penalties after Thunder midfielder Zebulun Cross’ 53rd minute strike canceled out Ryan Taylor’s 24th minute goal.

Western Mass finished with 10 after Kyle Tomas received his second caution in the 57th minute.
With the win, the Thunder will face fellow Empire State squad the Rochester Rhinos on May 20 at Sahlen’s Stadium.

Although the guests prevailed in the end, it was the hosts who opened the scoring midway through the first half. With the Pioneers pushing forward, Zach Grady sent a cross to Taylor, who put it through in the 24th minute.

But not long after Taylor’s goal, an experienced Thunder selection started to make some headway of their own. Using the right flank to great effect, the guests nearly pulled one back right before halftime when Jacob Sutherland sent a low drive toward Zucco, who scooped it up and smothered it in the 44th minute.

Persistence eventually paid off for Greater Binghamton not long after the break. Sutherland sent a pass into the box for Cross, who poked it through to level the match in the 53rd minute.

Not long after Cross’ equalizer, the Pioneers dug themselves into a hole after Tomas was sent off after receiving his second caution. With only ten men for the duration, the hosts went with a 4-4-1, looking to find the go-ahead on a well-timed counter.

While that was taking place, the Thunder busied themselves by building out of the back and putting the Pioneers under siege. Slavisa Ubiparpovic curled a dangerous cross for Patrick Thompson in the 64th minute, but Zucco stood firm.

Cross made a bid for the game-winner in the 78th minute on a long-distance blast that briefly gave Zucco some trouble. But the Pioneers’ keeper quickly recovered the rebound, and the match went to extra time not long after.

Western Mass made its intentions known early on in the first period of extra time by stationing nine players in the final third. Down a man, and tired legs abound, the Pioneers were clearly looking ahead to penalties.

Greater Binghamton, to its credit, tried to permeate the defensive shell. Substitute Lucas Heffron found no fewer than three opportunities to grab the game-winner in extra time with 97th minute shot that required a reaction save from Zucco, and a pair of long-distance blasts veered just off target in the 115th and 120th minutes.

With the match knotted at 1-1 at the end of 120 minutes, the spotlight fell on Zucco and Stenta with penalties on tap. Stenta stopped Tyler Carlos and Marcelo Cunha on the Pioneers’ second and fifth tries, while Zucco denied Sutherland. Moments after Cunha’s effort was stopped, Kraynak converted to send the reigning Keystone Conference champions to Rochester for the second round.

Greater Binghamton FC Thunder Western Mass. Pioneers
GOALS 54' · Zebulun Cross (Jake Sutherland) 
23' · Ryan Taylor (Zach Grady) 
YELLOW CARDS 91' · Jherret Maroney 
41' · Kyle Tomas 
55' · Kyle Tomas 
RED CARDS 55' · Kyle Tomas 
REFEREES REF: Matthew Mercier
AR:   Amilcar Sicaju
AR:  Kali Langevin
4th: Jeremy Scheer
Greater Binghamton FC Thunder
Tim Beauvais (GK)
Adam Blackwell
Patrick Thompson
Bogdan Yatsishin
Chris Riley
Zebulun Cross
Jonathan Purtell
Jherret Maroney
Jake Sutherland
Cody Healey
Bozidar Jelovac
 Daniel Kraynak (Chris Riley) 63'
 Lucas Heffron (Jonathan Purtell) 81'
 Conor McKnight (Jake Sutherland) 104'
Western Mass. Pioneers
Nick Zucco (GK)
Marcelo Kunha
Carlos Ruiz
Patrick DeAngelo
Ryan Williams
Tyler Carlos
Brandon McCarthy
Emmanuel Morgan
Kyle Tomas
Zach Grady
Ryan Taylor
 Nick Papscual-Leone (Emmanuel Morgan) 61'
 George Siotis (Ryan Taylor) 75'