The College’s men’s soccer team won two matches this week and are on a three game winning streak as they continue New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play.
The Lions collected a 2-1 home win over Rutgers University-Camden on Saturday afternoon and a 1-0 shutout victory over Rowan University Wednesday night.
Saturday’s victory over the Scarlet Raptors captured second place in NJAC standings. The College owns an 8-1-1 record and now are 4-1 in NJAC games.
Co-Captain Matt Connor feels that the team is headed in the right direction and knows what it takes to win.
“We’re playing some of our best soccer right now. We just got to keep that going,” Connor said of the team’s play. NCAAs are our ultimate goal right now. We just got to play with a lot of confidence.”
The Lions played an extremely physical game against Rutgers-Camden as tempers flared and yellow cards were given to both teams. Head coach George Nazario expected this game to be intense and physical.
“All New Jersey Athletic Conference games are going to be physical,” Nazario said. “Just as long as the guys keep their heads, and they did so we got the win.”
Connor said that in NJAC games, the team has to play physically. “It’s an NJAC game. As far as how physical it got, we thought we came out pretty competitive with them,” he said. “Part of it is playing our game, playing the ball to feet and if we can do that then we don’t have to worry about the physical aspect too much.”
Sophomore midfielder Joseph McGinley scored the first goal of the game on a penalty kick at the 11-minute mark after a Rutgers-Camden player had a handball in the box.
The College would add a second half score on a hustle goal by junior defender Tim Dudek at the 65-minute mark. Dudek sprinted after a long-ball assist from McGinley and headed it past Camden goalie David Cunningham as he was about to retrieve the ball. Dudek then tapped the ball into an empty net for his seventh goal of the season.
“(The goalie) started coming out and the ball was just outside the box and I didn’t know if he was going to come out to try to punch it or wait for it to come in,” Dudek said about his goal. “I saw him hesitate so I just tried to head it over him.”
The Scarlet Raptors had their only goal on a score by senior midfielder Baris Uslu off a feed from junior midfielder Michael Reed at the 73-minute mark.
Sophomore Matt Kasperavicius had three saves in goal for the Lions, while his counterpart, Cunningham, made seven saves for Camden.
On Wednesday, the Lions beat Rowan on a McGinley score with 9:30 remaining in the game. The Lions dominated the entire game as Kasperavicius needed only one save for the shutout victory.
This season, McGinley has been clutch for the Lions with game-winning goals and key assists.
“I’m just trying to find myself in nice spots,” McGinley said. “Everybody’s working hard out here. I’m just trying to do my part.”
The Lions host Drew University tonight at 7:30 p.m. in a non-conference game.