JERSEY CITY—Sophomore forward WALTER AVANS (Roselle Park, NJ/Union Catholic) tied the single-game school record for goals with four and collected the first hat trick by a New Jersey City University men’s soccer player in two years, as the Gothic Knights clipped York College (NY), 5-1, in a non-conference game on Thursday afternoon at the Robert L. McNulty Memorial Soccer Field.
NJCU improves to 3-1-1 on the year, while the Cardinals drop to 0-2. NJCU had a 25-16 edge in shots and 8-2 on corner kicks. The Knights lead the all-time series, 9-1 (50-8 goals differential) and have won the last eight meetings between the schools since 1995.
Avans, who now has seven goals in five games, tied the school record originally set in 1974 by Hall-of-Famer Jose ‘Pepe’ Casias, equaled in 1975 by Andrew Onyewuenyi, before most recently being tied on Sept. 27, 1997 by Alex Schuster. He also became the sixth player in school history to collect at least eight points in a game, one shy of the program mark of nine accomplished twice. Avans notched the first hat trick since Christian Acuna, now an assistant coach, did so on Sept. 16, 2007.
Senior forward JILMAR PEREZ (Princeton, NJ/South Brunswick) scored the other NJCU goal—the eventual game-winner. It was his second score of the year.
Freshman midfielder GABRIEL AVANS (Roselle Park, NJ/Union Catholic) picked up his third assist of the year on his older brother’s second goal of the game. Freshman forward MILTON GUTIERREZ (Clifton, NJ/Clifton) added his first career assist on the goal by Perez.
York scored its lone goal just 1:34 into the game for a 1-0 lead when sophomore midfielder Ousmane Toure (Bamako, Mali/Brandeis) stole possession from an NJCU defender and rifled a shot from the middle of the field into the top shelf.
Junior keeper JUSTIN GRANT (Montclair, NJ/Montclair) stopped five shots for NJCU. York sophomore Samer Abdel-Fattah (Queens, NY/Van Buren) had six saves for the Cardinals.
With NJCU trailing 1-0, Walter Avans scored the first of his four tallies at 20:16, tying the game. NJCU sent a chip into the box on a bounce that was misjudged by Abdel-Fattah. An alert Avans sprung to the ball and headed a shot inside the right post.
Just 40 seconds later, Perez put NJCU in front to stay when he took a feed from Gutierrez and blasted home a shot from the left wing at 20:56.
Walter Avans made it 3-1 at 41:41 of the first half. Gabriel Avans lofted a corner kick, and Walter Avans buried a sideways scissors kick inside the right post.
The lead swelled to 4-1 at 50:13 of the second half when Walter Avans fired in a penalty shot after a foul in the box. He capped his historical scoring effort at 87:10 when he dribbled through three defenders on the left side of the box, faked out the York keeper, and buried a one-timer for the 5-1 final.
The Gothic Knights will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 12 when they host the 2009 NJCU Liberty Cup. Also in the tournament are FDU-Florham, City Tech and the College of Staten Island.
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