JERSEY CITY–Five different players netted a goal as New Jersey City University outshot the City College of New York, 22-5 and opened the 52nd season of men’s soccer at the University with a convincing 5-0 shutout on Wednesday afternoon at the Robert L. McNulty Memorial Soccer Field. NJCU and CCNY each had 21 players see action in a game played on a hot, sunny afternoon with temperatures in the mid 90s.
NJCU improves to 1-0 while CCNY, also making its 2010 debut, is 0-1. NJCU had a 6-1 margin in corner kicks.
Freshman midfielder PAUL ASCENCIO (Jersey City, NJ/St. Peter’s Prep) made his return to competitive soccer after a six-year layoff an immediate success, scoring the only goal the Gothic Knights would need 48 seconds after substituting into the game in the 30th minute.
It was one of three unassisted tallies for NJCU who also received netters from sophomore forward NANA KOFI KUSI (Jersey City, NJ/Kumasi Academy (Ghana), junior forward JOSH SEWELL (Jersey City, NJ/Ferris), sophomore midfielder GABRIEL AVANS (Roselle Park, NJ/Union Catholic) and junior striker WALTER AVANS (Roselle Park, NJ/Union Catholic). Junior midfielder DIEGO PORTILLO (Bayonne, NJ/Bayonne) and junior ALEX CERON (Belleville, NJ/Belleville) added assists.
“We looked good, particularly for the first 10 minutes,” noted second-year head coach NANSHA KALONJI. “One of the things that stood out is we had four returning players on the field—everyone else is a newcomer. We have to build our chemistry and continue to work on our match fitness. Although we didn’t perform at the level we think we can, we still earned the win without giving up a goal and that’s always a confidence builder for us at the start of a season.”
Junior goalkeeper MIGUEL PEREZ (Jersey City, NJ/Dickinson) earned the win in his first start for the Knights, making one save. Freshman ZAKARY AZMI (New Milford, NJ/Emerson) played the final 45 minutes without need a save.
Freshman MOSTAFA IBRAHIM (Jersey City, NJ/Elharam (Cairo, Egypt), junior LIONEL EMABAT (Jersey City, NJ/Dickinson) and freshman KEVIN SCRIVANICH (Flanders, NJ/Mount Olive) each played a significant defensive role in limiting the Beavers to one shot on goal.
Ascencio checked into a scoreless game as a substitute at 29:03 and 48 seconds later he swiped the ball in the center of the field, dribbled into the box, and deaked several defenders, before finishing a shot into the right side of the net at 29:51. The goal by the 2005 St. Peter’s Prep graduate proved to be the game-winner.
Two more timely subs combined for a 2-0 lead at 46:15 as Portillo lifted a corner from the left that Kofi Kusi headed home from close range inside the box—just 1:15 after each player checked in at halftime.
Sewell made it 3-0 as the transfer lofted a free kick from the deep left wing at 54:45 that sailed over a leaping keeper.
At 83:49, Ceron slid a pass to Gabriel Avans who unleashed a deep shot from the middle of the field that also sailed over leaping CCNY freshman keeper David Criollo (Cuenca, Ecuador/NYC Museum), who made seven saves in defeat.
Walter Avans netted his 18th career goal and made it 5-0 at 86:19. His initial shot was stopped by Criollo and trickled dangerous close to the goal line, but an alert Avans didn’t allow the defense to clear the ball, tucking home his own rebound.
NJCU travels on Friday to Rocky Mount, North Carolina to participate in the Roger Taylor Fall Classic hosted by North Carolina Wesleyan College. On Saturday, September 4, NJCU meets Randolph College at 2:30 p.m. before meeting the host Battling Bishops on September 5.
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