After dropping a 3-0 decision to C.W. Post of Long Island University, the College began its New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) schedule with a shutout victory over Kean University, 2-0.
“We all know the real season started with the opening of NJAC,” junior forward Kevin Luber said. “I had faith in the guys that they would be mentally prepared for this game, and that happened.”
It certainly did, as the Lions had an all-around solid game. Sophomore goalkeeper Eric Goldwaser made seven saves to improve his personal record to 5-1-1, with three shutouts.
On offense, the Lions were actually outshot by the Cougars, 15-9, but they made the most of their shots on goal. Senior forward Chris Nelan netted the first goal of the contest around the 13-minute mark on a pass from Luber.
“It felt good to start producing immediately and to score the game-winning goal,” Nelan said.
It was a defensive struggle after the first goal until junior midfielder Brian Galacia headed the final goal midway through the second half on an assist from freshman forward Ray Nelan.
The Lions had more difficulty against Division II opponent C.W. Post, when they were shut out in a match for the second time this season.
The teams played a scoreless first half with each team looking to capitalize on their defensive success in the second half. Pioneer junior forward Mike Whitehouse then scored two goals in the match, including a corner kick to break the 0-0 tie early in the second half.
Sophomore goalkeeper Chris Kulick had a respectable game and was arguably the sole bright spot for the College, securing five saves in just his second collegiate start.
“We still need to get things sorted out in hopes to be more successful. It is still very early in the season,” Ray Nelan said.
Overall, the Lions stand at 5-3-1 on the year, including 1-0 in the NJAC.
The team members are looking to build off the good start they had in NJAC play.
“Hopefully, we will be able to go on a nice run and take a few games in a row and carry some momentum,” Luber said.
The Lions continue their NJAC schedule tonight as they play host to the team that ended their bid for a conference title last year, the Rowan University Profs, in Lions’ Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
Michael O’Donnell can be reached at email@example.com.