HomeSoccerOneida Men's SoccerSoccer: Oneida, Knox Central, play to thrilling 2-2 tie

Soccer: Oneida, Knox Central, play to thrilling 2-2 tie

passes the ball during Oneida's win over Cumberland Gap on Thursday, April 13, 2023 | Sarah Dunlap/IH

ONEIDA  |  For the first time in nine games on Tuesday (April 18), the Indians were not victorious.

But Oneida head coach Derek Keeton was not upset. Part of it had to do with the fact that his squad was playing a powerful Class AAA Knox Central team. Another part of it had to do with the fact that the Indians ended the game knowing they could've just as easily have won, instead of seeing the match end in a 2-2 tie.

“Our guys left the field this evening with their heads held high and excited about the potential of this team,” Keeton said. 

Oneida trailed 1-0 at the intermission, but won the second half thanks in part to goals by and

assisted Gilbert's goal to tie the match early in the second half, before Barna scored on a direct kick from 40 yards out with 20 minutes remaining to give the Indians their first lead of the night.

“It was one of the best shots I have seen in person,” Keeton said. “A talented young man made a big-time goal to make it 2-1.”

Oneida had felt it out-played Central in the first half, but two controversial no-calls inside the 18 were crucial.

“It was concerning as to why they were not called,” Keeton said. “Both were from behind and Mason's was red card worthy and easily a PK, while Nick's was definitely a PK. Those were huge no-calls because we outplayed them in the first half yet we trailed 1-0 at the half.”

After the Indians took the lead late, Central scored with nine minutes remaining to tie things up.

“From that point it was two determined teams going back and forth trying to win the game,” Keeton said. “Knox Central battled when they faced much adversity and we battled when we were facing much adversity. I'm sure Coach (Chris) Quinn, who is a phenomenal coach, was very proud of his team's grit and fight just as much as I was proud of our effort and fight.”

Oneida generated 24 shots on goal: 11 in the first half and 13 in the second half. finished with 18 saves, and Keeton praised the play of his son at the keeper position, as well as fullbacks , and .

“Those guys are having a tremendous year,” he said.

“What pleased me most about tonight's game was how the guys responded to the obvious no-calls that would have most definitely changed the outcome of the game,” Keeton added.

The IH Sports Network is the sports voice of the northern Cumberland Plateau, providing thorough coverage of the Oneida Indians and the Scott Highlanders.

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