As fans and families trickled into the stands on a brisk Saturday afternoon, the Drew Rangers got underway with what would become a nail-biting conference league match against the visiting Moravian Greyhounds. The Rangers controlled play in the early stages of the game, finding ample space in the midfield to move the ball and push up against the Moravian defense. Drew carved out several attacking plays in the first half from fluid through balls and excellently weighted crosses from the wide positions. The Rangers’ offense kept Moravian’s keeper on his toes, forcing several saves and rattling the side netting on a couple of occasions.
Midfield playmaker, Tino Puentes (‘25), proved a menace against the opposition’s back line, driving at defenders and making full use of the open space in midfield. Rangers’ forward, Kevin Kiernan (‘25), looked hungry for goals throughout the game. Kiernan was able to create some riveting chances, including a dazzling solo run from outside the box where he twisted the ball around defenders to find himself in point-blank range of goal. Unfortunately, Drew’s Number 11 was denied the opener by a Moravian keeper who did well to get down in-time to block the shot.
Going into half-time, Drew held the upper hand over their opponents, having created more attacking chances and outshooting the opposition 5-2 (Drew Athletics). Moravian displayed some serious potential as a counter-attacking threat but were denied goals by a relatively untroubled keeper and a no-nonsense backline.
In the second half, the Rangers pressed with much of the same attacking prowess they displayed before the break. A chance came after Puentes slid the ball into the box for forward Kiernan to take a one-touch shot, which had the keeper beat but rolled mere inches wide of the right-side post. The Rangers made light-work of keeping possession in the early stages of the second half. However, the opposition found their stride after a near-miss chance in the 70th minute, which forced Rangers’ keeper, Calum Erlenborn (‘22), to paw away a ball bouncing awkwardly off a deflection from a Moravian inswinger.
Drew’s troubles continued after Kiernan received a red card in the 81st minute. Following the sending-off, Moravian were able to threaten with some counterattacks, forcing Drew on to the back pedal. Nonetheless, Moravian were unable to thwart the Rangers defense, awarding the Drew keeper his fifth clean sheet of the season (Drew Athletics). In the dying minutes, the two sides pushed back and forth at each other, running from box-to-box as they fought desperately, but to no avail, for the winning goal. The match ended in a frustrating 0-0 tie for the Rangers.