Gousse, Villalta Come Up Big as Men's Soccer Shocks Saint Rose in Overtime

Gousse, Villalta Come Up Big as Men's Soccer Shocks Saint Rose in Overtime

ALBANY, N.Y. – In the dying seconds of the first overtime, sophomore Emgi Gousse stunned the College of Saint Rose with a 10-yard strike to hand the Queens College men's soccer team a 3-2 comeback win in non-conference action on the road Saturday night. With the win, the Knights improved to 2-2, while the Golden Knights moved to 0-3.

Gousse tallied his fourth and fifth goals of the season, and sophomore Cristian Villalta registered two assists to lead the comeback.

With barely a minute gone by, the Knights almost got off to quick start, as Gousse's shot sailed left. In the 21st minute, the Knights found themselves in uncharted territories for the first time this season, trailing 1-0 after the Golden Knights' Jean-Phillipe Rutabayiro was in the right place for a one-touch put back to the left side off a rebound. From there on, the Golden Knights controlled the pace of the first half, putting Queens under pressure, only allowing the Knights to take two more shots.

In the 42nd minute, Saint Rose took a commanding 2-0 lead, as Wari Isacc flicked home an eight-yard shot to the top right corner. Junior Firoze Mehirdel looked to cut the deficit in half just seconds before halftime, but the shot sailed wide left.

After a slow start in the first half, the Knights came out strong in the second half. In the 52nd minute, Queens looked to cut the deficit in half, but junior András Breuer's header sailed high. The Knights earned a corner kick in the 59th minute, looking to break through for their first goal, as Villalta's corner kick found the header of junior Paul Hayes, only to be denied by Saint Rose goalie Joshua Rasmussen. 

As time ticked on, super-sub senior Dorie James opened the flood gates for the Knights in the 77th minute, with a corner kick from Villalta finding James for a header to bring Queens within one at 2-1. Villalta continued to make his presence felt in the game, but his shot in the 87th minute was block. In the 88th minute, Gousse put his first mark on a dominating second half, putting away a loose ball to the right corner to knot the game at 2-2. The Golden Knights looked to steal the win following a shot by Carlos Menjivar, but were denied by an alert diving save by junior Robert Retnauer to send the game into overtime.

After a story of two different halves for the Knights, Queens came out determined to win the game in overtime. Villalta remained a thorn against the Golden Knights' defense, as he looked to seal the game in the 92nd minute, but was denied by Rasmussen. However, with 10 seconds remaining in the extra frame, Villalta found Gousse, who put away the shot for his second game-winner of the season, capping off a 3-2 comeback win.

The Knights held the advantage in shots (15-12) with 12 coming after the first half, corners (7-5), while the Golden Knights committed more fouls (19-12). Retnauer faced four shots on goal and made two saves, while his counterpart, Rasmussen, faced six shots with three saves. 

UP NEXT: Frank Vertullo and his team remain on the road, as they travel to Lakewood, N.J., for a non-conference matchup against the Lions of Georgian Court University (4-0-1) on Tuesday, Sept. 12, with kickoff slated for 3:30 p.m.