College Beat: Blackbirds “score” home-opening win over UMBC

September 5, 2012 By John Torenli, Sports Editor
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LIU-Brooklyn head women’s soccer coach Tracey Bartholomew knew it was just a matter of time before her defending Northeast Conference champions dented the scoreboard with their first goal, and win, of the young season.

After being outscored by a combined 6-0 during a season-opening three-game losing streak against the likes of non-conference rivals Seton Hall, Colorado and Denver, the Blackbirds (1-3) finally got off the schneid, so to speak, with a home-opening 1-0 victory over the University of Maryland-Baltimore County before 174 fans Sunday afternoon at LIU Field.

Freshman Mariana Ruas, a 5-foot-7 forward out of Waldwick, N.J., gave LIU all the offense it would need just seconds before the end of the first half, beating UMBC junior goaltender Lauren Kadet with a shot from 10 yards out off a feed from senior Nicole Labo.

“We’re not connecting yet, but they have been working very hard,” Bartholomew said of her squad, which returned 11 seniors from the team that fell 2-0 to national powerhouse Virginia in the opening round of last year’s NCAA Tournament.

The Blackbirds were on the attack early and often against the Retrievers, holding a 12-2 edge in shots on goal, including a 7-0 margin in the first half. The seventh and final shot ended LIU’s extended goal drought, which stretched back to last season’s finale. Senior Alana Wohlers hit the crossbar just eight minutes into the match, giving the Blackbirds an early boost of confidence as they eventually emerged victorious thanks to a stellar defense which kept reigning NEC Goaltender of the Year Jennifer Bannon from having to make a single save en route to her first shutout victory.

The Blackbirds will try to make it two in a row Friday at West Point, when they take on Syracuse during the first day of the Black Knight Classic. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Perhaps the Lady Blackbirds’ good fortune in Brooklyn will rub off on the men’s squad, which returned from its weekend visit to Irvine, Calif., goalless for the season with an 0-4 mark.

The Blackbirds dropped a 4-0 decision to UC-Riverside on Sunday despite eight saves from senior netminder John Connolly. They also suffered a 2-0 loss to No. 12 UC-Irvine on Friday, and have been outscored 10-0 through four matches.

LIU will host Rider in its first home match Saturday afternoon.

The St. Francis men’s squad broke out of its season-opening two-game slide with an impressive 5-1 victory over St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia on Saturday night.

Sophomore forward Kevin Correa tallied his first collegiate goal in the 22nd minute to open the scoring and co-captains Adam Maabdi and John Johansson gave the Brooklyn Heights school a cushy 3-0 lead before the half.

Junior Gabriel Bagot and freshman Avyay Gujral struck for goals in the second half as the Terriers (1-2) scored five times for the first time since Oct. 8, 2010.

 “It was a big win for us tonight, we needed it,” said St. Francis head coach Tom Giovatto.  “I thought we did a tremendous job on the offensive side of the ball after coming up short in our previous two contests.”

“It feels good to pick up the win tonight,” added Correa, who hails from Flushing, N.Y.  “I’m proud that I was able to tally my first career goal but was happier that we won as a team tonight.  We can celebrate the win today, but its back to work tomorrow and the days that follow.”

Senior goalie Tyler Clarhaut stopped three of four shots for St. Francis, which will hit the road for a Friday evening showdown with American University in Washington, D.C., before visiting George Mason in Fairfax, Va., Sunday afternoon.

The Brooklyn College men’s soccer team dropped its 2012 season opener to the Violets of New York University, 2-0, on Sunday at Gaelic Park.

The Violets got on the board in the 22nd minute as Chris Ramirez found the back of the net with the help of Ian Cassell and Danny Weisbaum, who both assisted on the tally.

The score would remain 1-0 in favor of NYU until the 74th minute, when Mac Yumoto scored his first goal of the season from 15 yards out on a low cross from teammate KC Eboh.

“We came up against a well-organized NYU team and did well to keep them off the board in long spells throughout the game,” said Brooklyn College head coach Rawle Hensford. “However, we lacked the special quality needed to prevent the shutout.”

The Violets controlled most of the match, holding a 20-5 shot adavantage as well as a 5-2 corner edge in corner kicks. The Bulldogs were whistled for 14 fouls, while NYU was called for just four infractions.

Junior goalie Stamatis Boundouris of Bay Ridge’s Xaverian High School made three saves for the Bulldogs (0-1), who will return to action Thursday at 4 p.m. against Farmingdale State College in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Over at NYU-Polytechnic, the men’s soccer team suffered a season-opening 3-1 loss to NYU on Friday night, and the women’s squad went down 2-0 to visiting Kings College, 8-0, on Sunday afternoon.
  Following a heartbreaking season-opening loss to Brown on Saturday, the nationally ranked St. Francis men’s water polo team bounced back with a 9-4 victory over host school Brown Sunday morning at the Brown Invitational.

Junior center Bosko Stankovic scored two goals and third-year goalie Igor Mladenovic made 10 saves for the Terriers (1-1), who will be back in the pool at the Princeton Invitational this weekend, taking on Cal-Berkeley and Bucknell in a Saturday day-night doubleheader

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