JERSEY CITY—New Jersey Athletic Conference leading scorer Rob Santaniello (Oakland, NJ/Ramapo) scored twice in the second half and the Ramapo College defense limited New Jersey City University to five shots on goal as the Roadrunners defeated the Gothic Knights, 2-0, in an NJAC men’s soccer game on Wednesday afternoon at the Robert L. McNulty Memorial Soccer Field.
Ramapo improves to 7-1-2 (2-1-1 NJAC) and snaps NJCU’s six-game unbeaten streak in the rivalry. The Knights dropped to 5-4-2 and 0-3-1 NJAC. NJCU, which outshot Ramapo, 18-11, still leads the all-time series, 17-16-5. The Knights are 8-2-1 against RCNJ since 2000.
Ramapo senior keeper Ian Tighe (Wyckoff, NJ/Ramapo) made five saves for his fifth shutout of the year. NJCU received two saves by sophomore keeper MANNY LOJO (Clark, NJ/Union Catholic) and also had a defensive team save.
NJCU, which has scored 37 goals in seven non-conference games, was shutout for the third time in four NJAC games this season and the fourth time overall this year. The Knights scoreless streak stands at 265:28.
After a defensive battle in the first half in which the schools combined for only 12 shots (8-4 NJCU), Santaniello, a freshman striker who has been named the NJAC Rookie of the Week in each of the past two weeks following an Offensive Player of the Week honor in week one, put the visitors ahead, 1-0.
At 53:20 of the scoreless second half, senior midfielder Justin Stone (Marlboro, NJ/Marlboro) sent a ball into the box from the left wing, before Santaniello managed to redirect the momentum of the cross with a short header.
Santaniello then made it 2-0 at 72:47. After winning a ball from the NJCU defense in the middle of the field, he spun towards the goal and raced to the net on a 1-on-1 breakaway, before knocking home his 15th goal of the season. He is just four goals shy of matching the 1997 RCNJ single-season record of 19 owned by current NJCU head coach NANSHA KALONJI, himself a Ramapo Athletic Hall-of-Famer.
NJCU returns to action on Monday, October 5 at 4 p.m. in a non-conference game at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, N.Y. Ramapo hosts Rowan University in an NJAC game in Mahwah on October 3 at 1 p.m.
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