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Steel City FC disappointed with settling for 2-2 draw in wild Sunday encounter with Erie Commodores

File Photo courtesy Jared Todhunter

Steel City FC remain at the top of the NPSL’s Great Lakes Conference table, but not before a wild 2-2 draw against Erie Commodores that included a weather delay late Sunday afternoon at Founders Field.  

Erie took the lead before the half, then the match was delayed by storms and lightning strikes within the area. 

“Erie started sharp and for the opening periods of the match, we unfortunately didn’t play with the intensity that we’re known for,” Steel City Head Coach Dan Brower said. 

“Erie were well organized defensively and so we could have used the ball more effectively to bring them out of their block to play between the lines.”  

The reigning Conference champs stormed back to take the lead in the second half, with goals coming from Justin Kopay (Moon/St. John’s) with a brilliant strike, the Kai McLaughlin (Robert Morris) caught the rebound from his penalty shot attempt to give the home side the lead.

Steel City were in the process of seeing through another home victory, before a late goalkeeper mistake led to Erie’s equalizing goal in the 87th minute.  

“Halftime and the lightning strike allowed us some time to come up with a few solutions. After the delay, we played with more conviction and with more ideas,” Brower added.

“We scored a cracker and deservedly took back the lead off the pen.” 

Despite the late gaffe, and settling for the draw, Steel City remain five points clear at the top of the conference table, in solid position to earn another playoff berth and home field advantage through the Conference postseason.  

The series with the Commodores ended all square this regular season, as the sides also played to a 1-1 draw in May.  

“I was really pleased with our mature response. We had some chances to put the game away but you have to give Erie credit for their fight,” Brower stated.

“We’re disappointed with the result and know we could have played with more purpose and discipline from the opening whistle but these are learning opportunities. We’ll use this as fuel to have a good week of training to prepare for a dangerous and hungry Michigan Rangers squad next Sunday at Founders.

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John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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