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Seventh heaven for streaking Sharks

Defending NEC champs LIU rolling through competition

October 5, 2022 John Torenli, Sports Editor
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Seven straight wins, five consecutive shutouts and the best record in the Northeast Conference still aren’t enough to satisfy Long Island University men’s soccer coach Michael Mordocco.

“We’re just tackling one game and one opponent at a time,” Sharks head coach Michael Mordocco insisted following his team’s latest conquest, a 4-0 whitewashing of new NEC entry Stonehill Sunday before a crowd of 350 at Skyhawk Field in Easton, Massachusetts.

“We don’t look ahead, and our staff does their best job to prepare the group each week to paint a good picture of our opponents.”

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They’ve been doing that with great consistency since a two-game losing streak to start September that had some wondering if LIU was suffering from a hangover following its historic run to the second round of the NCAA College Cup a season ago.

Emil Jaaskelainen, a strong candidate for NEC Player of the Year honors, has been streaking right along with his teammates.

Daniel Zholendz scored twice as SFC Brooklyn ran its winning streak to five games with a 7-0 trouncing of Pratt Tuesday at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photo courtesy of SFC Brooklyn Athletics

He tallied twice in the opening stages of the second half Sunday to spark the Sharks, giving him 11 goals and at least one in seven straight matches.

The native of Bolton, England has the longest current goal-scoring streak in Division I and the Sharks are one shutout away from matching their longest run of blanking opponents, established in 1988.

Joe Cerrato and Robert Winkler also scored for LIU while netminder Gianluca Cersosimo stopped four shots for his fifth straight blank sheet and sixth consecutive win since manning the posts.

The Sharks (9-2, 3-0 NEC) will try to make it eight wins in a row Sunday at Howard, but Mordocco isn’t looking ahead or counting his team’s accumulated successes.

“We have five regular season games left before the playoffs,” he said. “The games will be getting tougher and we need to be better for 90 minutes.”

Downtown rival St. Francis Brooklyn is gathering some momentum of its own as the always-anticipated Nov. 3 regular-season finale between the squads approaches.

The Terriers have reeled off five straight wins, including Tuesday’s 7-0 demolition of Pratt at Brooklyn Bridge Park in their non-conference finale.

Daniel Zholendz and Ramchy Saint Vil had two goals apiece and Oskar Ilhen, Badr Mesrar and Calleb Danquah also scored for SFC (6-3-1, 2-0), which hasn’t lost since a 1-0 setback at Saint Peter’s on Sept. 10.

Head coach Tom Giovatto’s squad, winners of six of the previous 10 NEC titles, is peaking at the right time.

Goaltender David Santiago, who returned to action for the first time since Sept. 2, made one save in the first half before being relieved by Flannan Riley over the final 45 minutes.

SFC will return to NEC action for the stretch run Sunday at Merrimack in North Andover, Massachusetts.

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Izzy Gollette scored but SFC Brooklyn lost at Wagner in Staten Island on Sunday. Photo courtesy of SFC Brooklyn Athletics

On the ladies’ side, the Sharks saw their three-game unbeaten streak (1-0-2) end Saturday with a 5-0 loss at Temple in Philadelphia.

LIU goalie Kayla DeTreux made a pair of saves for the Sharks (3-7-3, 1-1-2), who will try to get back on the winning track Thursday afternoon vs. visiting Howard in Brookville, N.Y.

The Terriers suffered a 4-2 loss at NEC rival Wagner on Sunday in Staten Island despite goals from Izzy Gollette and Lauren Taylor.

Arevalo Gauthier made four saves for SFC (1-7-3, 0-4), which will take its fifth shot at its first conference win Thursday at Brooklyn Bridge Park vs. Sacred Heart.


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