BOSTON – Second half goals by two Suffolk freshmen lifted the Rams Men's Soccer team to a stunning 2-1 road victory over Emmanuel College at Clemente Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Rams improved 2-14-1 overall with the win and 2-6-1 in the GNAC and will travel to the GNAC tournament's top seed, either Mount Ida or Johnson & Wales.
On a day where Emmanuel honored seven seniors prior to the opening kick, it was senior captain David Field who scored the game's opening goal. Junior Colin O'Donnell made a tremendous individual effort to work the ball to field and the senior buried his seventh goal of the season to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
Emmanuel carried the lead into the halftime break and looked to double it early in the second half, but the hosts were whistled for two offsides infractions on back-to-back plays.
Suffolk earned a corner kick in the 66th minute and made sure to make the most of the opportunity. Freshman Jordan Casey stepped up to the corner and drove a ball into the box where it was settled by fellow classmate Hamada Hazzoum. Hazzoum took one touch and put a well-placed shot into the back of net for the first goal of his collegiate career. The Suffolk bench erupted as the Rams evened the score and helped their narrow hopes of a postseason bid.
Stefano Sainato made his best attempt to put his team back in front, as he attempted four shots in a 12-minute span following the Suffolk goal. Two of those shots were stopped by Rams keeper Nicholas Chamma and two sailed wide as the senior was unable to find the right touch.
Casey and Hazzoum had no intention of playing more than the required 90 minutes, as the two would combine for the eventual game-winner in the 83rd minute. Casey's team-leading third goal of the season put the Rams up 2-1, which was a lead that they would not relinquish.
Chamma made three saves en route to his second victory of the season, while Emmanuel goalkeeper James Withers made five saves, but fell to 5-8-1.
Suffolk earned seven corner kicks in the match to Emmanuel's three, including a 4-0 edge in the second half. The teams combined for 28 fouls, as the Saints committed 16 infractions and the Rams countered with 12 of their own.
Next up for the Rams is the GNAC Quarterfinals on Sunday, Nov. 1. The location and time of the game will be determined following the conclusion of tonight's contest at Johnson & Wales. For further postseason information, please catch back to GoSuffolkRams.com or TheGNAC.com.