The Ramapo Roadrunners men’s soccer team beat the New Jersey City University Gothic Knights by a score of 3-1 in Mahwah on Wednesday afternoon. The win marks Ramapo’s first New Jersey Athletic Conference win of the year bringing them to a 7-6-2 record overall. NJCU is still searching for their first NJAC win and now sit at 1-13-3.
Intense wind and gray skies set an ominous stage for an ever-important conference matchup. Ramapo and NJCU sat at ninth and tenth place in the NJAC, respectively. Both teams desperately needed three points to keep tournament hopes alive.
Ramapo turned to senior Dan Boffa to lead the way. Averaging a point per game for the Roadrunners, Boffa is making a habit of turning up during important moments. In the eighth minute, Ramapo sophomore Kevin Monaghan won the ball at midfield and passed the ball off to senior Andrew Kirshteyn who slipped behind the Knight’s defense.
Kirshteyn hit a low driven shot at the far post. NJCU keeper Tyler Krychkowski got his body in front of the shot, but bobbled the ball. Monaghan continued his run into the area and got on the end of the rebound, but Krychkowski made a second save off his chest. The ball hung up in the air very kindly for Boffa as he delicately headed in the game’s first goal.
Coach Pinton could not say enough about his senior leader.
“He’s been great all season,” Pinton said. “His work rate is fantastic and his demeanor is even better.”
Chances came for Ramapo, but NJCU’s high line saw the Roadrunners get called for offsides five times in the half. The Gothic Knights had one legitimate chance as freshman striker Nelson Sosa came inches away from getting on the end of a goal mouth cross that only needed a touch.
The second half began with Ramapo applying pressure down the right flank and winning consecutive corner kicks. Poor delivery and a quick clearance allowed NJCU to attack on the counter.
Sosa was able to redeem his missed chance in the first half with an absolutely stunning right-footed golazo in the 56 minute mark. NJCU freshman Marco Campos was able to switch fields and play the ball to Sosa’s feet. One touch to the inside of the post and Sosa let it rip with an impeccably placed top right corner finish.
Ramapo reacted admirably as they continued to search for a second goal. A golden chance in the 72 minute mark was squandered as Boffa beat the keeper and hit the inside of the left upright post. Ramapo sophomore Chris Ugarte, who was just subbed in, skied the rebound over the woodwork on what was basically his first touch of the game.
The game winner came in the 79 minute mark off a flawless volley from Ramapo senior Zach Savacool. Sophomore James Merges continued to find space down the right flank and connected with a wide-open Savacool, who was waiting at the far post.
Ramapo sophomore Lucas Tasci added a third in the 85 minute with a cheeky chip over the keeper’s right shoulder.
A win for Rowan over Stockton tomorrow night puts Ramapo firmly in the NJAC tournament conversation.
“Basically, we started playoffs today. If we can wind up with 13 points, that usually gets you in,” said Pinton.
The Roadrunners next home game is Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. against Western Connecticut.