Roadrunners Defeated by WPUNJ Pioneers 3-0

The Ramapo College men's soccer team lost to William Paterson University 3-0 on Wednesday afternoon at home in a New Jersey Athletic Conference matchup.

Though the Roadrunners outshot the William Paterson Pioneers, 10-8 in shots on goal and 16-13 in shot attempts, they could not find a way to beat freshman goalkeeper Mike Diacheysn.

After taking three fouls in the first ten minutes of play, Ramapo goalkeeper, senior Steve Monaghan was beaten by William Paterson junior Marcus Hackett on a penalty shot at 10:54. The goal was Hackett's fourth of the season.

Shortly after, Ramapo coach DJ Pinton made several substitutions, and Ramapo was able to regain some momentum with fresh legs. The Roadrunners generated some good shots off of plays following a corner kick, but could not find the back of the net.

"We're a hard working team that works the ball well on the carpet and creates chances," said Rob Shalikar, sophomore and defenseman for the Roadrunners. Ultimately, that hard work was in vain against the Pioneers.

At 33:24, William Paterson junior Omar Jallow scored his second goal of the season just three minutes after substituting in for freshman Leandro Lemache. The goal came on William Paterson's first shot since Hackett's opening goal.

For the second half, Coach Pinton started several of his bench players, including freshmen Nick Brancato and Christian Trujillo, and junior Andrew Kirshteyn.

Sophomore goalkeeper Brian Petrunik also started the second half after Monaghan let in 2 of 5 shots on goal in the first 45 minutes.

Early in the second half, fouls again proved to be costly for the Roadrunners. This time after taking four fouls in the first 12:30 of the half, a penalty kick by William Paterson senior Matt Nigro deflected off Ramapo's defensive wall past Petrunik to give Nigro his fourth of the season and put the Pioneers up at a comfortable 3-0.

Shalikar said that fouls cost the team to lose momentum at key times and ultimately lost the game.

"Their first goal was let up on a free kick, and their third goal was deflected off our wall into the net so that's two goals against us," he said. "If someone saw the game, they'd know that we gave up one shot in the box, everything else was from distance. So fouls cost us two goals and stopped out momentum since we were out possessing them."

Ramapo tried to keep up the pressure after falling behind and continued to generate chances. In the second half, they outshot William Paterson in shooting attempts 8-5, forcing Diacheysn to make four saves to preserve his shutout.

With the loss, the Roadrunners fall to 4-5-1 overall and to 1-3 in the NJAC. Meanwhile the Pioneers improve to 6-3-2 overall and to 1-2-1 in conference.

The game earns three points in the standings for William Paterson and moves them ahead of Ramapo in the New Jersey Athletic conference by a single point.

Both team's next games will also be NJAC matchups, as the Pioneers will take on the Rowan University Owls, 0-2 in NJAC play, on Oct. 5.

Ramapo will play against Kean University, 1-2 in the NJAC, on the same day at Kean. Despite having one more loss, a win for Ramapo would move them ahead of Kean in points by three.

Kean also lost on Wednesday in an NJAC match against New Jersey City University.

"Against Kean, we're going to do what we do normally. We're going to possess the majority of the ball, work the ball around to create chances like usual. We'll just have to finish our chances, tighten our defense, and grind out a win against a good conference rival," Shalikar said.

A loss for the team could prove devastating at this point in the season. If Ramapo falls to 1-4, including a hypothetical loss to Kean and a defeat by Rutgers-Newark on Sept. 28, they could find themselves with Rowan in the basement of the NJAC.

Shalikar said that the team plans to think from game to game, rather than about the remainder of the season as a whole.

"We're going to prepare one game at a time. We understand that it is vital to win four of our next five games, with two of those games being against nationally ranked squads. The only way to get there is to play out game and our style," Shalikar said.