By Hannah Holliday
For the second year in a row, Lansing United squared off with the Columbus Crew’s college program, and an 87th minute goal by Alec Greene helped United earn a 2-2 draw at the East Lansing Soccer Complex on Sunday afternoon.
United fought back from a one-goal deficit twice to tie the match, which was treated as a friendly and does not count toward the team’s NPSL record.
“They’re a really, really good side,” United head coach Nate Miller said. “Overall, with it being so hot outside, it was a good result.”
The Crew came out strong, scoring an early goal in the 4th minute. Both teams held their own until the 39th minute, when United forward Nate Bladecki sent a pass to Danny Cawley, who turned on the defender and sent the ball into the upper right hand corner of the goal.
“Danny’s dangerous like that, he always has a goal in him,” Miller said.
Play continued with Crew controlling most of the possession and scoring another goal in the 65th minute, taking the lead.
The Hoops continued to pressure and with the fresh legs of Greene found the back of the net late to tie it. Stevenson Storm sent a ball along the goal line that left Greene with little to do but tap it in.
“The team worked real hard and it was nice to be able to come in,” Greene said. “(Storm) put the ball in the goal line so I didn’t have to do much, but I was in the right place at the right time and it felt good.”
Many players made their season debuts, including David Waterson, Mayowa Olufeko, Dean Bloembergen and Lucas Rosendall.
With the experience from this weekend, United is ready to continue their NPSL schedule with 12 league points still available.
“Were really upbeat,” Miller said. “Our guys are very positive. This team will never give an inch and stop fighting and I truly believe that we are going to counter punch in the last third of the season.”
United will welcome Kalamazoo FC at the East Lansing Soccer Complex this Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.