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Cosmos win spring season championship

The Cosmos hoist the spring championship plate after

The Cosmos hoist the spring championship plate after playing the Jacksonville Armada FC to a draw in a game at Hofstra University's James M. Shuart Stadium on Saturday, June 13, 2015. Photo Credit: Brad Penner

In a way, the Cosmos accomplished something that none of the other professional sports franchises in New York have in 2015:

Win a championship. Even if the manner in which the way they won left something to be desired.

"We have to correct some things," coach Giovanni Savarese said after his team became the North American Soccer League's spring season champion by tying the Jacksonville Armada, 3-3, Saturday at Hofstra.

The Cosmos finished the spring season with a 5-0-5 record, earning 20 points and clinching a berth in the 2015 NASL playoffs.

Entering the spring season finale, the Cosmos held a three-point lead over the second place Tampa Bay Rowdies and could clinch the championship with a win or a tie.

By halftime, the 7,353 in attendance were set for a celebration as the Cosmos had a 2-0 lead, due in part to Armada goaltender Miguel Gallardo, who was charged with an own goal in the sixth minute when Raul's long shot hit the crossbar and dropped straight down before ricocheting off of the Jacksonville goaltender's foot.

Hagop Chirishian added to the Cosmos' lead with his first goal of the season in the 26th minute.

"We had a great first half," Savarese said.

It did not carry over to the second, as Jacksonville solved goaltender Jimmy Maurer three times.

Armada midfielder Pascal Millien scored in the 59th and 73rd minutes to tie the game. Lucky Mkosana's goal in the 86th minute put the Cosmos ahead 3-2, but Joseph Toby equalized it in the 89th minute.

"Jacksonville is a very good team offensively," Savarse said. "They can score a lot of goals."

Maurer's point blank save in the 90th minute salvaged the tie. Maurer and Gallardo made three saves apiece, while the Cosmos outshot the Armada 11-10.

The Cosmos will play 20 games in the fall portion of the season, beginning July 5 against the Indy Eleven at Shuart Stadium. Included will be two dates with the Armada, July 18 in Jacksonville and Sept. 12 at Shuart Stadium.


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