Suffolk Soccer Continues Offensive Dominance
Both Suffolk soccer teams found a way to win in their Saturday doubleheader as the women’s team beat St. Joseph (Conn.) 2-0 and the men’s team defeated Regis (Mass.) 4-2.
The women’s team came into the double header at with arguably the best offense in the GNAC conference as they kicked off at 1 p.m. at James A. Sartori Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park. The Rams came into the game with the leader goal scorer in the GNAC, Jennifer Martin, and the second leading goal scorer, Alex Nagri. Before Suffolk’s 2-1 defeat Thursday at Regis, the Rams scored 14 goals in two games, beating Wheelock College 9-0 on a four goal performance by Martin, then beating Anna Maria 5-0 as Martin and Nagri both had two goals. The story was no different Saturday against the Blue Jays as both Martin and Nagri scored again, tallying their total goals to seven and six, respectively.
Martin’s goal came in the 19th minute as Suffolk was fouled 25 yards from the goal, and the Ram’s captain stepped up and launched a free kick that dipped and sailed right past Blue Jays goalkeeper Megan Ricci. At the 43:56 mark Nagri received a beautiful pass from defender Paola Ortez who was five yards behind midfield. Nagri trapped the ball 20 yards out and and ripped a shot that went top right past Ricci to make the game 2-0. That was all Suffolk would need as they improved to 4-2 (2-0 GNAC). Suffolk keeper Kirsten Weiker sealed her third shutout of the season and had eight saves. With six days of rest coming, the women’s team heads to Lasell September 24th, for a GNAC conference showdown. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m.
The offensive momentum carried over from the women’s team to the men’s as the Rams could not stop creating offensive chances against Regis, beating them 4-2. Former GNAC Corvias Player of the Week Alberto Bittan had his second hat trick of the season, tallying up his GNAC lead to 11 goals, five more than any other player. Suffolk now has the leading GNAC goal scorer in both men’s and women’s soccer. Bittan was quick to work as he scored Suffolk’s first goal in the sixth minute of the game off a GNAC and team leading third assist from Jordan Casey, as the Suffolk sophomore crossed it into the box while Bittan drew out Regis goalkeeper Manny Santiago from the net, creating space to trap the ball and finish with ease. Less than 10 minutes later, Casey sent a shot from 30 yards out near the corner of the field and was credited with the goal, as Regis netminder Manny Santiago and defender Jai Pandit had a miscommunication on defense resulting in a 2-0 lead for the Ram. Casey talked about the skill that this offense possesses, “We have so much talent on this young team … having almost every single player healthy gives us the freedom to grow as a unit and to reach the full (previously undiscovered) potential of our offense.”
Bittan would once again score in the first half at 30:13 to bring his season total to 10. Regis finally answered early in the second half as Emiky Pires launched a throw-in around the box and Chris Szarek used his head to score Regis’ first goal and make the game 3-1 Suffolk. Bittan did not feel like waiting long to answer, as he would score 28 seconds later to put the Rams up 4-1 and completed the hat trick off a cross from midfielder Christian Restrepo. Regis did score again on Suffolk goalkeeper Chip Van Cleef with just four minutes remaining on another throw in assist from Pires, this time finding Zach Sindoni for the Pride. Van Cleef only had to make two saves in the win to up his total to 27, which is fourth in the GNAC. Casey commented on what he thinks Suffolk can do in the GNAC this year, “Suffolk can be a GNAC title contender this year. I think most teams are going to see what we did last year and count us out, overlook us, but we’re excited to prove everyone wrong.”
The men’s team improved to 3-3 (1-0 GNAC) on the year. Suffolk next has Salve Regina on its schedule for a non-conference game Monday, with the game starting at 7 pm in East Boston.