skip navigation

Kickers’ Shanosky Delivers in New Role

By CHARLIE CORR -, 03/26/17, 10:26AM EDT


First-time captain tallies winner for home-record Richmond crowd

Photo courtesy of Richmond Kickers

The Richmond Kickers have never been short of leadership among its roster, particularly being a club that qualifies for the USL Cup Playoffs every season.

For defender Conor Shanosky, his leadership role took on a new level as he wore the captain’s armband. In front of a City Stadium-record crowd of 8,021, Shanosky delivered the lone goal during a 1-0 victory against the Harrisburg City Islanders on Saturday.

“Obviously it’s a big honor to wear the captain’s armband – first time in my career, so that was nice,” Shanosky said. “It’s always very special. But I think we’ve got a lot of leaders on the team. We’ve got a good group. It’s about building that and doing better as a group and keep pushing.”

Improvement was the post-game theme for Richmond moving forward. Head Coach Leigh Cowlishaw’s side certainly came through with Shanosky’s aggressive header goal in the 51st minute off of Fred Owusu Sekyere’s corner. But there were some elements on both ends of the pitch where the Kickers could have helped themselves.
“It was a fantastic free kick and a great header by Conor, [but] we stopped playing,” Cowlishaw said. “Unfortunately 30 minutes, we kind of bunkered in too much, not enough imagination on the counter attack. It’s not ideal, but it’s great to get the three points and we now go on to some serious challenges.”

“It was a cagy game I would say – both teams kind of one pushing, the other pushing, very tense, a little bit uptight as the first game of the season generally is, I suppose,” Shanosky said. “Then we get the goal. It comes at a good time for us. Then we’re kind of in hang-on mode, kind of absorbing a bit of pressure, which is natural.

“Now it’s about us trying to grow and get better and put ourselves in a situation where you can get two and make it a little bit easier on ourselves.”

Photo courtesy of Richmond Kickers

The Kickers hit an early bump in the road when they conceded a first-half penalty kick attempt to Harrisburg’s Aaron Wheeler. Fortunately for Richmond, D.C. United loanee Travis Worra was up to the task with a massive foot save on Wheeler’s attempt that averted a potential deficit and brought the team and the crowd to life.

“Anytime you concede a penalty and your goalkeeper comes big it gives the rest of the team huge energy and huge enthusiasm,” Cowlishaw said.

Cowlishaw is a Kickers lifer, and as the organization celebrates its 25th anniversary, he said Saturday’s 8,000-plus environment was the best he has seen.

“There’s no question. Fantastic crowd. We’ve got to continue to build on that,” Cowlishaw said. “Love the tifos, love the smoke – we just need to get those smoke bombs a few more times and get a few more goals.”