BOSTON – The Suffolk men's soccer team will take the turf at James A. Sartori Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park one last time during the regular season as the Rams welcome Rivier in a 1 p.m. contest. Prior to kick-off, Suffolk will salute the playing careers of its five seniors, Alberto Bittan, Eric Costantini, Ben Daniels, Aaron Haggas and Alex Ypsilantis.
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LAST TIME OUT
In a battle with the two of the top GNAC teams, the Suffolk men's soccer team came out on the wrong side of a 1-0 decision as Saint Joseph's (Maine) snuck past the Rams at Yarmouth High School Wednesday night.
MORE READING: Saint Joseph's Slips Past Men's Soccer, 1-0
The Class of 2017 has been instrumental to the team's growth and main ingredients to the team's three straight GNAC post-season appearances. The Rams currently stand at 7-8 overall with a 5-3 record against the GNAC with a post-season appearance already clinched thanks to the senior leadership of Alberto Bittan, Eric Costantini, Ben Daniels, Aaron Haggas and Alex Ypsilantis.
RUNDOWN ON THE RAMS
With a victory over Rivier Saturday, Suffolk (7-8, 5-3 GNAC) can secure home field advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
Suffolk's 36 goals this season are the third in the league thanks to Alberto Bittan's team- and league-leading 14. Jarrett Davis, meanwhile, is essential to setting up Suffolk scoring as he boasts a conference-high eight assists. The freshman forward is also a threat in scoring him, tallying three goals for a 14-point collegiate debut effort. Aaron Haggas' five tallies rank second on the squad with three scores coming off PKs.
Jon Brodeur has been the Rams' go-to goalie as of late. The freshman keeper sports a 5-5 record with three shutouts thanks to a 2.08 goals-against average and a .730 save percentage.
RADAR ON THE RAIDERS
Rivier is currently on a two-game skid, dropping back-to-back shutouts at Emmanuel (2-0) and to Norwich (4-0) to move to 7-7-1 overall and 3-4-1 in conference play to sit in seventh place in the standings.
Alex Armstrong and Michael Russo share the team lead in goals with five each on the season with Armstrong also dishing out team-high four assists for 14 points.
Collin Deyamin has seen the majority of time in goal for the Raiders this season and boasts a 1.48 goals-against average and 91 saves heading into the matchup with the Rams.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Since 2002, Suffolk leads the series with Rivier, 8-6. The Rams have shutout the Raiders, five times including back-to-back 9-0 victories in 2011-12.
HERO OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
Jarrett Davis was nominated for HeroSports.com DIII HERO of the Week after his four-assist performance in the 5-1 win over Norwich. Davis came in second in the national poll finishing just 11 votes shy of Wisconsin-Luteran's Erek Lehnen.
Suffolk played in its second overtime game of 2016 Oct. 10, but for the first time since 2014, the Rams came out on the winning side when the blue and gold defeated Emmanuel 1-0. The last time Suffolk won an overtime contest was a 2-1 double overtime win against Regis Sept. 17,2 014.
The Rams shutout over Albertus Magnus Sept. 10 was the first time Suffolk kept an opponent scoreless since a 2-0 win versus Johnson & Wales Sept. 27, 2014. On Oct. 10, Suffolk recorded its fourth cleansheet of the season; the most for the Rams since blanking match that number in 2012.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
After a career day, freshman Jarrett Davis of the Suffolk men's soccer team has beennamed the GNAC Corvias Rookie of the Week, the conference office announced Oct. 10
MORE READING: Davis Picks Up GNAC Corvias Rookie of the Week
Suffolk notched back-to-back shutouts for the first time since 2013 when it blanked Anna Maria (4-0, Sept. 21) and Eastern Nazarene (3-0, Sept. 25).
PLAYER OF THE WEEK, AGAIN, AND AGAIN
For the third time this season, Alberto Bittan has been recognized by the conference as the senior grabbed Co-GNAC Corvias Player of the Week honor, the league office announced Monday afternoon. Bittan shares the weekly accolade with Norwich's Jacob Zimmerman.
MORE READING: Bittan Grabs Co-GNAC Player of the Week Accolade
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. He repeated a three-goal game performance against Regis Sept. 17, becoming the first Suffolk player to net two hat tricks in one season since Danny Lloyd scored a pair in 2010.
GOALIE OF THE WEEK
For the second straight week a member of the Suffolk men's soccer team was honored by the conference as sophomore keeper Kyle Van Cleef was named GNAC Corvias Goalie of the Week following a shutout performance in the Rams' league opener.
Suffolk won its conference opener for the first time since defeating Anna Maria in the first league game of the 2012 season, 9-0.
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.
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 concludes its regular season with a non-conference contest at Dean Tuesday, Oct. 25.