BOSTON – The Suffolk men's soccer team opens GNAC action Saturday, Sept. 10 when the Rams stop by New Haven, Connecticut, for a 1 p.m. showdown at Albertus Magnus.
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LAST TIME OUT
The Suffolk men's soccer team overcame a three-goal half-time deficit and renewed its hopes of recording its first win of the season, but UMass Dartmouth knocked in back-to-back scores to defeat the Rams, 6-5, Sept. 4 at James A. Sartori Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park.
MORE READING: Men's Soccer's Comeback Falls Short vs. UMass Dartmouth
RUNDOWN ON THE RAMS
Suffolk dropped back-to-back one-goal games in its opening week, falling to Newbury (3-2) and UMass Dartmouth (6-5).
The Rams, who head out on the road for the first time in 2016, have been powered by Alberto Bittan. The senior forward is responsible for 71.4 percent of Suffolk's scoring this season, racking up five of the blue-and-gold's seven goals and passing out one assist. Sophomores Jordan Casey and Alvin Di own the Rams' other two tallies with Casey leading the team in handouts (2).
In net, Kyle Van Cleef has stood tall in both games. The sophomore keeper has 14 saves to his credit with a 4.50 goals-against average and .609 save percentage.
FACTS ON THE FALCONS
After falling to Regis, 4-3, in its season opener Albertus Magnus has picked up two consecutive victories, defeating Brooklyn (3-0) and Westfield State (3-2). The Falcons welcome Suffolk to Celentano Field in the midst of a four-game homestand.
Four different Falcons have recorded two goals on the young season, with Brayan Lucero, the reigning GNAC Corvias Rookie of the Week, pacing the pack with two tallies and a team-high three assists. Justyn Broderick and Ritchy Jean Pierre have each dished out two handouts to go along with their two scores. Matt Mueller rounds out Albertus Magnus' two-goal scorers.
Joe Russo has played every minute in between the pipes for the Falcons. The netminder owns a 2.00 goals-against average with 10 saves and a .625 save percentage.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Since 2002, Suffolk and Albertus Magnus have met 17 times with the Rams' trailing the all-time series 6-11-0. The Falcons have outscored Suffolk, 35-24, and own the last two wins by identical 4-0 scores.
EYES ON THE GAME
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Alberto Bittan picked up the first GNAC Corvias Player of the Week honor of the 2016 campaign, as the senior notched 11 points off five goals and on assist in a two-game opening week for Suffolk men's soccer.
Alberto Bittan knocked in three goals against UMass Dartmouth Sept. 4, becoming the first Ram to register a hat trick since Djibril Niang did so against the Corsairs Oct. 28, 2014.
Suffolk's five goals in the 6-5 setback to UMass Dartmouth Sept. 4 are the most for the Rams since Suffolk matched that number versus Anna Maria Oct. 13, 2014.
For the second straight year, Suffolk Athletics invites all members of Ram Nation to East Boston Memorial Park for a double feature soccer contest and #RamsFanFest Saturday, Oct. 15.
SUFFOLK FREE RADIO
Suffolk Athletics has teamed up with Suffolk Free Radio to bring Ram Nation 17 live broadcasts of Suffolk soccer games this season.
The pre-game shows are set to launch 15 minutes prior to kick-off of all contests and fans can follow along at mixlr.com/suffolkfreeradio/.
Suffolk returns to the friendly confines of James A. Sartori Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park Monday, Sept. 12 when it entertains Lesley. Game time is set for 7 p.m.