The Ramapo Roadrunners men’s soccer team trounced visiting Lehman College Lightning with a score of 7-0 on Monday afternoon. With the win, Ramapo improves to 4-2-1 on the year while the Lightning drops to 0-5.
The match had the feel of a training session from the opening whistle. Ramapo looked to work the ball around and control possession, and Lehman’s poor defensive positioning had the Roadrunners salivating at the chance to attack. The first and eventual game winning goal came for Ramapo in the sixth minute as senior Andrew Kirshteyn slotted in the shot after a slaloming run and perfectly weighted through ball from sophomore James Merges for the assist.
Ramapo appeared to take their foot off the gas after the initial goal and some sloppy play ensued. Several golden opportunities to take a commanding lead were squandered and head coach DJ Pinton felt the need for some wholesale substitutions.
“I was really displeased with the effort and the way the guys came out,” Pinton said. “They took a look at the opponent and were just going through the motions.”
A second goal for the Roadrunners came in the 40th minute as freshman Brandon Baxter got on the tally sheet for the first time this season off a long pass from sophomore Lucas Tasci.
Ramapo started the second half with intense conviction, exerting their dominance and scoring just 43 seconds into the half as Tasci added a goal to his game sheet on an assist from junior Santiago Garzon.
Eight minutes later, the Roadrunners connected splendidly as Kirshteyn got on the end of a sublime chip from senior Dan Boffa and bent it around the goalkeeper for his second of the game. Tasci added a second assist as he slipped sophomore Kevin Monoghan in behind the defense for his first goal at 57:44.
Ramapo freshman and starting center back, Modou Sowe, scored the final two goals of the afternoon. Sowe was getting forward at will, involved in every attack, constantly asking questions and disrupting Lehman’s defensive positioning as he propelled himself up and down the field for the full 90 minutes. Pinton recognizes the talent he has in Sowe and plans to take advantage of his full potential.
“He’s got the green light to go and get forward because as you can see he is pretty good at finishing,” said Pinton.
Lehman provided Ramapo with the opportunity to get in some added game conditioning and for Pinton, a chance to figure out his preferred eleven and rotation players.
The true test begins this weekend as Ramapo welcomes Stockton College in what will be the Roadrunners’ first New Jersey Athletic Conference game of the year. After a disappointing 2-7 NJAC record last year, Pinton believes Ramapo will be much more competitive this season.
“My expectations are finishing in the top of the conference, within the top three,” Pinton said.
The Roadrunners face off against the Stockton Ospreys at 1 p.m. this Saturday at the Ramapo Athletic Turf Center.