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Erie Admirals advance to NPSL Championship
Erie Admirals 4, Rocket City United 2

By: ERIC ANDERSON | WISCONSIN SOCCER CENTRAL
Published: July 30, 2009

MADISON, Wisc. -- Northeast Region champion Erie wore down the Southeast winners with a three-goal second half, with Evan Chate playing a role in two goals.

Chate came on at halftime and snapped a 1-1 tie with his goal off a free kick in the 49th minute, and the 21-year-old Frenchman - one of 12 foreign players on the Admirals’ 21-man roster - then set up Dan Howell’s insurance goal in the final moments to seal Erie’s 10th consecutive victory.

"I wasn’t expecting to play. We have some good players everywhere, so it’s not easy to get on the field," said Chate, who hails from Vendays-Montalivet near Bordeaux and played the past two seasons at a community college in Toledo, Ohio. "I’ve been practicing very good the last two weeks, and I’m glad I was able to make an impact on the game."

In between Chate’s contributions, fellow substitute Afrim Latifi - a native of Kosovo who will be Chate’s teammate at Gannon University in Erie in the fall - provided what ended up being the game-winning goal during a wild 73rd minute that saw both teams score.

Rocket City United (8-6-2, 5-3-1) opened the scoring on Rafael Barbosa’s glancing header off a cross from Daniel Segewitz from the left side in the 18th. But the Admirals answered with a header of their own 13 minutes later, a powerful drive by Jeremy Deighton off Eric Tattersall’s ball from the right flank.

Even though he’d only been on the field for a few minutes, Chate got the call on the free kick in the 49th - some in the crowd wondered if the foul occurred in the box, but the referee placed the ball just outside the penalty area. Chate’s drive deflected off the Rocket City United wall and past goalkeeper Tyler Earley to give Erie a 2-1 advantage.

The club from Huntsville, Ala., didn’t fold, though, against the physical Admirals and continued to attack in its 4-3-3. Substitute Freddy Okello equalized in the 73rd, pounding home a header off a corner kick by Paul Willoughby from the right side.

The match was tied for only seconds, though, as Latifi pounced on a turnover by Rocket City United’s Kirk Childers, went in alone on goal and beat Earley on a shot to the far post to put the Admirals ahead for good.

"Kirk Childers made a mistake, and in a game like this, it’s difficult," said Rocket City United technical director Greg Petersen, who was critical of Breese Stevens Field as a facility and the stadium’s playing surface. "Kirk should’ve probably just simply cleared the ball. That just really completely nullified the momentum we had."

Erie Admirals
1

4
Rocket City United
1


2

Rocket City United - Rafael Barbosa (Daniel Segewitz) 18
Erie Admirals - Jeremy Deighton (Eric Tattersall) 31
Erie Admirals - Evan Chate 49
Rocket City United - Freddy Okello (Paul Willoughby) 73
Erie Admirals - Afrim Latifi 73
Erie Admirals - Dan Howell (Evan Chate) 89

ERIE ADMIRALS: Danny Mudd; Steven Duggan, Luke Brookfield, Alex Trujillo, Eric Tattersall; Billy Colton (Evan Chate 46), Neil Shaffer (Cory Bachstein 71), James Livingston, Arash Fahandezh (Mickey Blythe 90); Jeremy Deighton (Afrim Latifi 63), Ben Truax (Dan Howell 61).
ROCKET CITY UNITED: Tyler Earley; Daniel Segewitz, Kyle Timm, Jason Sabio, Joseph Omondi; Kirk Childers, Derek Pirtle (Freddy Okello 56), Norbert Webley (Brian Hadley 42, Paul Turner 75), Michael Biggs; Rafael Barbosa, Paul Willoughby.

Saves: EA (Mudd) 2; RCU (Earley) 5. Shots: EA 16, RCU 8. Corner kicks: EA 3, RCU 9.Fouls: EA 9, RCU 12. Offsides: EA 10, RCU 1. Discipline: EA - Livingston (5, caution); RCU - Segewitz (53, caution)