Lions impress in two non-conference wins

Action began for the Lions men’s soccer team this weekend as they swept all competition at the Ramapo College Invitational. The College now stands at 2-0 on the season.

Play began this past Saturday as the Lions took on the Bloodhounds of John Jay College and held them to a 6-0 shutout. The Lions also outshot the Bloodhounds 31-4.

“This tournament was a good way to start off the season, but the quality of the NJAC teams that we face later is incomparable,” head coach Greg Nazario said. “Right now we’re still in uncharted waters and I think after the tournament in North Carolina we will be able to get a better grasp on where we stand in the season.”

Sophomore forward Matt Luber opened the scoring 28 minutes into the half, converting a pass from sophomore forward Craig Langan. Approaching halftime, the Lions gave themselves some cushion as freshman defenseman Brad Politi put one in the back of the net off of sophomore midfielder Joseph McGinley.

Junior midfielder Michael Ferber got the second half going as he scored an unassisted goal 20 minutes in. A minute later, Politi again added to the score, making it 4-0. Sophomore forward Nicholas Kiel recorded the assist.

“I think the tourney went very well and it should boost the confidence of our team,” Kiel said. “We still could have scored more goals…but it was a good start to the season. We should be a pretty good force in the NJAC this year. We should go pretty far and I don’t see us giving up any easy wins.”

The Lions continued to run up the score as Luber scored once more off a pass from Politi. Within a minute, freshman forward Nick Ruskoski racked up the final goal of the game with Luber receiving an assist on the play.

Sophomore goalkeeper Matt Kasperavicius received the shutout win having to make only two saves. Junior goalkeeper Michael Podbielski of John Jay kept busy as he recorded 16 saves for the game.

On Sunday, the College faced New York Polytechnic Institute, dominating them 5-1. Junior striker Tim Dudek served up a hat trick and an assist for the game. Even more astonishing is that Dudek scored all three goals within 12 minutes of each other.

Nazario looked to make changes this year for the team’s offense. Dudek made the move from defenseman to striker.

“I had always been a defender and coach Nazario asked me how I would feel moving up,” Dudek said. “I told him I’d do anything to help out the team.”

“I’m definitely getting more comfortable there because my teammates and coach are teaching me things I would have never known about being a striker. I love the team and I’m looking forward to helping with the scoring.”

Dudek completed his first goal off a pass from Ferber only 4:52 into the game. Just 1:17 later, Dudek scored again, this time off of Langan’s pass. Just over five minutes later, Dudek scored his final goal off stellar passing from McGiney and Ferber. With only 24 seconds left in the half, Dudek switched to passing and fed senior midfielder and captain Matthew Connor his goal for the day.

The Lions lost their hope for two straight shutout wins as Brian Duncan of the Fighting Blue Jays tightened the score 4-1 at 12:16 into the second half.

Ruskoski answered back and sent a pass from Luber into the back of the net to finish the game 5-1. In the net, Kasperavicius recorded only one save in the first half.

Sophomore goalkeeper Robert Prunetti took over in the second half, but did not make a single save. Joshua Kaufman made eight saves for New York Polytechnic.

“We should have a real good season and at least do much better than last year because we have a good core and a great coach,” Dudek said. “We have all the right tools, we just have to put it all together.”

This weekend the Lions will take part in the Esprit Division III Tournament at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. The team’s next home game will take place Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. against Stevens Institute of Technology.