When starting a season with majority of the games ending in defeat, it is very rewarding to finally win one — especially when your team is able to shutout a team with one of the top goal scorers in the country. The men’s soccer team shut down sophomore forward Rob Santaniello of Ramapo College and the rest of the Roadrunners 1-0 on Saturday in the first game of the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
The men’s soccer team recovered with the win against the Roadrunners after a 1-0 defeat with No. 12-ranked Stevens Institute of Technology on Wednesday Sept. 15.
“Stevens’ defense has been very good this season so they limited the amount of scoring opportunities we had against them,” sophomore midfielder Kevin Shaw said. “Ramapo’s defense and team as a whole are not the same quality as Stevens. I think we were used to the high competition after Wednesday’s game, and we were able to create more scoring chances and capitalize on one.”
Shortly into the second half, the Lions were able to score the lone goal needed for the victory. Junior midfielder Ed Kozic took the chance to finish off of fellow junior midfielder Michael Recchia’s cross from the right end line in the 57th minute. The goal allowed the Lions to hold the lead, gaining sophomore goalkeeper Aaron Utman his second shutout of the season.
“It was a team effort, but Recchia made a great run and cross to Kozic, who was able to finish it, which won the game for us,” Shaw said.
The Ducks defense, however, prevented the Lions’ offense from scoring on Wednesday, adding another loss to the team’s 1-4-1 record.
“I thought we played really well as a team and we probably had the better of the play for the first half. We came out strong in the second half and continued to play well. And late into the second half they had a 2 on 1 against us and were able to capitalize on their opportunity,” Shaw said.
Sophomore forward Victor Daza was able to finally place one in the net with just 16:57 left in the game. The Ducks achieved the team’s fourth victory and fifth shutout of the season over the Lions.
“The game ended 1-0,” Shaw said, “which was unfortunate because I think we played well enough to walk away with a win.”
Utman finished with five saves against the Ducks and sophomore defender Vince McEnroe recorded three of the eight shots on goal for the Lions.
Conference play continues for the men on Wednesday Sept. 22, as Richard Stockton College visits the College for the 7:30 p.m. game at Lions’ Stadium.
Hilarey Wojtowicz can be reached at email@example.com.