Sixteen's a Magic Number In Debut

CRANBURY, N.J. — There were players pounding shots toward Jordan Dilapo on Friday night at Harvest Wood Field in New Jersey that had been playing soccer longer than the 16-year-old goalkeeper had been alive. Nevertheless, the Orchard Park native who finished his junior year of high school just a day earlier stopped all shots but one — including a crucial late penalty kick — as the Blitzers improved to 2-0 on the road with a 3-1 win over the Blaze.

“I thought it was crazy, especially with my age and playing with all these great players and the great talent on the pitch tonight,” said Dilapo, who was forced between the pipes after an injury to netminder Patrick Regna. “We definitely outplayed the team and we really bonded and gelled really great.”

Buffalo (3-0-2) struck twice in the first half. Victor Gonzalez fed vet forward Andy Tiedt for the first goal of the game, followed by a neat through ball from Matt Stedman to Mike Reidy that sprung the Colgate product for his fourth goal of the season.

New Jersey (1-0-5) took advantage of an early second half scrum in the box to get within one, but relentless Buffalo pressure had the road warriors in a prime position to strike thrice. When Matt Schuber sent Stedman in alone and the Blaze keeper took down the Blitzers forward, Mike Unwin stepped up and coolly slotted the penalty kick to restore a two-goal margin.

The Blaze pressed on but were unable to beat Dilapo and the Buffalo backline. A late penalty was awarded to New Jersey, but Dilapo tipped the cheeky shot to safety and any look at momentum for the Blaze followed the ball over the bar.

FC Buffalo outshot the Blaze, 13-12, and Buffalo received good news out of Erie, where the Admirals knocked FC Sonic late to provide even more clutter near the top of the table. Sonic rolls into Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium on Sunday for a pivotal 3 p.m. kickoff. Admission is $5 and we need you there!