In a back-and-forth goal scoring affair, Kingston and Masters settled on a 3-3 draw after a late goal by Masters Darryn Commisiong (88').
After Master's Devonte Brown (11') gave the home side an early lead, Kingston's Ryan McCurdy (24', 26', 34') scored three for the visitors in a ten minute period - giving the Clippers a brief two-goal lead. Master's Sam Gardner (38') closed the gap by one before the interval, and the result was determined by a tense, cagey second half.
"Setbacks in focus all around the park led to us donating a tie to Masters," said Kingston head coach, Christian Hoefler. "We started the match slow and allowed a goal early on. This lifted us and we looked extremely dominant afterwords. It seemed the game was ours when we went up 3-1."
Both teams were forced to experiment with their depth, integrating new or previously untested players.
"We have four of our main defensive players injured, and so we had to play two centre backs that were not true centre backs," said Master's assistant coach, Junior Groves. "Kingston scored when we were one man down to injury, and scored immediately again due to defensive errors."
Both coaches were keen to point out the finishing exploits of the Clippers' Ryan McCurdy as worthy of MVP honours.
"Ryan McCurdy was big and strong and with a two new centre backs for us, he caused trouble upfront and scored a hat-trick," said Groves.
"The will to perform was apparent in this match and Ryan took advantage of many lapses on the opposition's back line by scoring three goals," agreed Hoefler.
However, alongside McCurdy's accomplishments stood a number of other key performances that helped determine the outcome.
"Jeremy Arnold - the former Ottawa Fury FC Academy and future Colgate University player - was a vibrant figure the entire match by being extremely dynamic in the middle of the pitch and consistent with going forward," said Hoefler. "Jeremy was unlucky not to finish a late goal-scoring opportunity that hit off the bar and would have won the game."
"Isaiah Page's fluid movement and pace was difficult for the Kingston defence to contain," said Groves. "Our 1999 player DiDi Commissiong was outstanding as he set-up one and scored the tying goal. Our 1999 forwards Levonte Johnson came on in the second half and created two goals, while Aayrn Massy - a 1999 Centre back we brought on in the second half - stabilized the defence and allowed us to come back and tie the game."
Kingston gets back to action on Saturday August 1 vs. Durham United at Tindall Field (Queens University), 2 p.m. kickoff.
Masters has a bye week ahead, not returning to play until Saturday August 8 vs. Pro Stars FC at L'Amoreaux Park - 9 p.m. kickoff.