Shamrock SC goalkeeper Frankie Tsasse. NY Shamrocks Images
Keeper Frankie Tsasse led Shamrock SC to a 7-6 penalty kick win over NY Greek Americans in the semifinal of the Manning Cup with two wonder saves Sunday night at Metropolitan Oval.
Tsasse was pleased of his performance.
“I feel excited and thankful at the same time,” the Cameroonian said. “Thankful because it is not every day that you save two penalty kicks back to back. It's also nice to be back in a final after we got to the League Cup final a year ago.”
Andy O’connell’s penalty kick early in the game gave Shamrock the lead before Zachary Gosse’s own goal evened the scoring in the second half. The score remained 1-1 all the way to the final whistle, sending the game to penalty kicks.
Tsasse was confident going into the shootout.
“When we went to penalty kicks, in my head I was like, I am going to repeat history again,” he said. “And here we are in the final.”
The score was 4-4 after the first five penalties--both sides' miss were overhit penalties. Laurie Child missed the Rocks’ first sudden death PK. It was up to Tsasse to keep his side in the game.
The 26-year-old dove on his right to block the opposing keeper’s shot.
Shamrock SC keeper Frankie Tsasse diving in a game against NY Athletic Club on March 26. NY Shamrocks Images
“Saving a penalty kick is the hardest thing in the game because the ball moves in a split second,” Tsasee said about his saves.
However the keeper didn’t worry about not making the saves.
“I had no pressure trying to save the penalties,” the former Cedar Stars Academy player said. “I was more worried for my teammates, hoping they wouldn't miss."
Both clubs converted their following two penalties. Then Dan Giorgi netted the Rocks fourth sudden death attempt. The Greeks were unable to match Giorgi’s goal as Tsasse flew on his left to palm away their last PK, sending Shamrocks to the final.
The keeper describes Sunday night’s match as one of the best games of his career.
“I will say Sunday night's win was one of them [one of the best games of my career] but every time I am on a soccer field, it is the best moment of my career,” the Cameroonian said.
The Rocks will play their Irish rivals Lansdowne Bhoys in the final on June 4th. Both sides will hope to win their first Eastern New York Manning Cup title. Tsasse shared his thoughts on the upcoming final.
“I have a lot of respect for Lansdowne,” he said. “I know it will be a huge final since they play football the right way.”