Gothic Knights Make New Head Coach A Winner In Debut

RANDALL’S ISLAND, N.Y.—New Jersey City University made first-year head coach NANSHA KALONJI a winner in his debut as the 12th coach in the 51-year history of the program as seven different Gothic Knights tallied goals and NJCU blanked the City College of New York, 7-0, in the 2009 season opener for both schools, played Wednesday afternoon.

NJCU (1-0) scored three goals in a span of 4:43 early in the first half, led 4-0 at the break, and added three more in the second period while outshooting the Beavers, 24-10, while owning a 13-5 margin in corner kicks. Five of NJCU’s seven tallies were unassisted.


It was the fourth consecutive meeting in which NJCU has shutout CCNY. NJCU leads the all-time series, 6-1 and has outscored CCNY 29-9 in that span, with the Knights winning the last six meetings. More recently, NJCU has outscored the Beavers 25-0 in those four shutout wins.

Freshman midfielder GABRIEL AVANS (Roselle Park, NJ/Union Catholic) led the way with a goal and an assist. Sophomore forward ALEX CERON (Belleville, NJ/Belleville), senior forward JILMAR PEREZ (Princeton, NJ/South Brunswick) and junior defender LESTER OMBWAYO (North Brunswick, NJ/North Brunswick) all scored first half goals.

Three newcomers to the program tallied their first NJCU markers in the second half as freshman midfielder GIOVANNI RICCARDI (Lyndhurst, NJ/Lyndhurst), freshman forward MANNY ADDU (Belleville, NJ/Belleville), and junior midfielder PHIL BRAUN (Sayreville, NJ/Bishop George Ahr) bagged goals. Sophomore midfielder DIEGO PORTILLO (Bayonne, NJ/Bayonne) added one assist.

Sophomore goalie MANNY LOJO (Clark, NJ/Union Catholic) made one first half save while junior keeper JUSTIN GRANT (Montclair, NJ/Montclair) stopped two second half shots, as the pair combined for a shutout. CCNY rookie Tayfun Kucuk (Paterson, NJ/John F. Kennedy) had seven saves while allowing seven goals. In all 21 NJCU players saw at least 20 minutes of action.

Ceron scored the eventual game-winner at 12:18 of the first half when his free kick from 22 yards out following a foul was ripped into the top right corner. In the 14th minute, Avans scored in similar fashion following a foul, drilling a shot into the top right corner. Perez was credited with the third goal of the game at 17:01 when his cross deflected into the goal off the CCNY defense for a 3-0 lead.

Ombwayo made it 4-0 at 34:22 of the period. Avans lofted a corner kick from the right endline which Ombwayo powered inside the upper left post using a perfectly-timed header.

Another CCNY foul led to a free kick-producing goal in the 57th minute of the second half as Portillo delivered a cross on the foot of Riccardi, before he chipped a shot into the upper right corner on the near post.

At 81:45, Addu swiped possession from a CCNY defender, and with the keeper off his line, drove a shot from 25 yards into the net. Braun completed the scoring in the 89th minute as his high, deep clear from midfield sailed over the head of the opposing keeper.

NJCU will next travel to Rocky Mount, NC to compete in the North Carolina Wesleyan Fall Classic. On Saturday, Sept. 5 at 2 p.m. NJCU will face Greensboro College before meeting host and #24 nationally ranked N.C. Wesleyan on Sept. 6 at the same time. Both contests are regional games.

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