JERSEY CITY, N.J. (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | Sophomore center midfielder Jose Salazar(Medellin, Colombia/Union City) had a hat trick of helpers, notching all three Gothic Knight assists and the New Jersey City University men's soccer team remained unblemished with a 5-0 shutout of Medgar Evers College in its 2017 home opener on September 9 at the Robert L. McNulty Memorial Soccer Field.
NJCU posted three consecutive shutouts to start a season at 3-0-0 for only the second time in its 59-year history and has done so in back-to-back years under second-year head coach Joe Cullen's staff. Additionally, NJCU is 3-0-0 to open a season for only the seventh time in program history and the first time in consecutive season.
Salazar assisted on the first, second and fourth goals of the game and the NJCU defense allowed just four shots on goal. Medgar Evers fell to 1-3.
Three men produced their first goals of the season for NJCU. Freshman midfielder Jonathan Franco(South River, NJ/South River) scored what proved to be the game-winner exactly three minutes into the game and freshman midfielder Howie Trindade (Newark, NJ/Newark East Side) notched a brace—his first two collegiate tallies—with strikes in the 16th and 59th minutes. Junior midfielder Ron Jones (Montclair, NJ/Montclair), a transfer from Moravian, added the fifth goal in the 65th minute.
Freshman keeper Eric Lopes Silva (Newark, NJ/Newark East Side) made four saves in 77:06, including one diving stop to preserve the clean sheet, before rookie Aldahir Cazun (Jersey City, NJ/Dickinson) saw his first collegiate action in net over the final 12:54 (no saves).
In all, 22 men played for NJCU. Senior center back Luis Cruz (Princeton, NJ/West Windsor-Plainsboro South), the New Jersey Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week, was the lone Gothic Knight to play all 90 minutes.
After being narrowly outshot in the first half by Medgar Evers, who had just one shot on goal, NJCU dominated the second half, outshooting the Cougars, 14-3, and 24-15 for the game. Freshman James Hyacinthe (Aquin, Haiti) made five saves for the visitors.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Exactly three minute in, Salazar slipped a ball onto the right wing and Franco unleashed a one-timer from top right edge of the 18 into the far left bottom corner for his first collegiate score. In the 16th minute, Trindade chipped a feed from Salazar top shelf in the middle of the goal for a 2-0 edge. The Knights put four of their 10 first half shots on goal and led 2-0 at the break.
Like the first half, NJCU quickly struck early in the second period. In the middle of the 50th minute, a corner kick from the right side caromed to Sanoh on the left side of the box who settled the ball adjacent to a crowd and unleashed a shot into the near upper left corner.
In the 59th minute, Salazar slipped a perfect through ball to Trindade in the middle of the box for an uncontested blast down the center of the goal for a 4-0 lead. It was Salazar's third assist of the game. Later in the 65th minute, Jones stole the ball from the keeper, dribbled on the right side and ripped a shot for the final tally.
Postgame Facebook Live Interview with Luis Cruz (Princeton, NJ/West Windsor-Plainsboro South) and Jose Salazar (Medellin, Colombia/Union City):https://www.facebook.com/NJCUGothicKnights/videos/10155237015454915/
- Series: NJCU leads, 12-1, outscoring MEC, 71-9.
- First meeting between the schools since September 4, 2011 in the consolation game of the Drew Fall Classic in Madison, N.J. NJCU won that game, 12-1.
- First home meeting vs. Medgar Evers since September 3, 2008—a 7-1 win.
- NJCU was playing its first game since September 2.
- The school record for consecutive shutouts to open a season was four in 2010.
- NJCU is 3-0-0 to open a season for only the seventh time in program history (1966, 1989, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2016, 2017).
- NJCU will seek to begin a season with four consecutive shutouts for only the second time ever and the first time since 2010 when it begins a three-game road trip on Monday, September 11 against Brooklyn College. Kickoff is 4 p.m. in Brooklyn, N.Y. The all-time series is even, 3-3-1. The Bulldogs won the last meeting on a neutral field in Staten Island, N.Y., 2-0, on August 30, 2013. That was Brooklyn's first win over NJCU since 1981.
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