BOSTON – The Suffolk men's soccer team continues its quest for the GNAC Championship as the fourth-seeded Rams head to regular season champion and top-seed Saint Joseph's (Maine) Tuesday, Nov. 1. The semifinal showdown is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. start.
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Saturday, Oct. 29 – Quarterfinals
Game 1: #1 Saint Joseph's (Maine) defeated #8 Mount Ida, 4-0
Game 2: #4 Suffolk defeated #5 Albertus Magnus, 2-0
Game 3: #3 JWU defeated #6 Emmanuel, 3-0
Game 4: #2 Norwich defeated #7 Rivier, 4-1
Tuesday, Nov. 1 - Semifinals
Game 5: #4 Suffolk at #1 Saint Joseph's (Maine) - 2:30 p.m.
Game 6: #3 JWU at #2 Norwich - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 5 – Championship
GAME 7: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner
LAST TIME OUT
Jordan Casey secured the Suffolk men's soccer team's GNAC semifinal bound fate with a career-day as the sophomore netted a pair of goals to lift the fourth-seeded Rams over No. 5 Albertus Magnus, 2-0, in the conference quarterfinals at James A. Sartori Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park Saturday afternoon.
RUNDOWN ON THE RAMS
Suffolk's superior play carried into the conference quarterfinals.
Overall, the Rams have put in 40 goals on the season, which ties for fourth-most since 2005 in Suffolk's season annals. Alberto Bittan has been the standout scorer as the senior's league-leading 15 goals and 34 points rank atop the Rams' season's lists back to 2005. Jarrett Davis, meanwhile, has dished out the most assists through the past 12 seasons with a league-leading nine handouts. The freshman forward is also a scoring threat, tallying three goals for a 15-point collegiate debut. Sophomore Jordan Casey also has 15 points to his credit on five goals and five assists. Rookie Christian Restrepo (4-5-13) and senior Aaron Haggas (5-2-13) also have double digit points for Suffolk's powerful offense.
Jon Brodeur has seen the majority of action in net for Suffolk. The freshman goalie boasts a 6-5-0 record with four shutouts thanks to a .730 save percentage and 2.15 goals-against average.
Since meeting Suffolk Oct. 19, the Monks locked up the tournament's top seed and regular season championship with a 5-0 win overall Lasell the sealed Saint Joseph's 8-0-1 league ledger. In the quarterfinals, the Monks blanked No. 8 Mount Ida, 4-0, to advance to the semis.
The Monks way of winning comes through their defense as they have limited their opponents to just six scores and have 13 shutouts. Blake Mullen is the backbone to the defense as the keeper has started all, but one contest for SJC and boasts a .896 save percentage and just five goals against (0.27 goals-against average).
Brett Mattos and Austin Bell are the only two players in double figures in a well-balanced SJC offense. Mattos has a team-leading six goals and three assists on his stat line, compared to Bell's six scores.
WE MEET AGAIN
In a battled with 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, 1-0, at Yarmouth High School Oct. 19.
MORE READING: Saint Joseph's Slips Past Men's Soccer, 1-0
INSIDE THE SERIES
Tuesday's meeting marks the 12th for Suffolk and Saint Joseph's (Maine) since the Monks joined the league in 2007. The Rams trail the all-time series, 4-6-1, and the Monks have taken the last two meeting by identical 1-0 margins.
Suffolk is in the midst of its 16th chase for the conference crown since joining the league in 1999.
The Rams third consecutive appearance marks the first time the Rams had home field advantage int he quarterfinals since being the fourth seed in 2010. Overall Suffolk has been the fourth seed on four occasions and won its lone championship as the fourth seed.
Suffolk's semifinal trip Tuesday is the Rams' third overall and first since 2010. The Rams are 1-1 in the conference semis.
The meeting between the Rams and Monks in the conference tournament marks the first time the two teams have met in the post season.
Alberto Bittan has had a stand up senior season. The forward is among the nation's best with 34 points on 15 goals, including five game winners, and four assists. Bittan's numbers, both goals and points, lead the way for Suffolk in its recent history, dating back to the 2005 season. His five game-winners, meanwhile, sit 18th across all NCAA DIII.
Jarrett Davis has made a meaningful impact as a freshman this season. He leads Suffolk and the GNAC in assists with nine, a number that sits atop the Rams' season annals in the past 12 campaigns. Overall, he has provided 15 points on three scorers and nine handouts in his collegiate debut.
Suffolk's six GNAC victories this season are the most conference wins for the Rams since the blue and gold joined the GNAC contingent in 1999.
HERO OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
Jarrett Davis was nominated for HeroSports.com DIII HERO of the Week Oct. 19 after his four-assist performance in the 5-1 win over Norwich Oct. 8. Davis came in second in the national poll finishing just 11 votes shy of Wisconsin-Luteran's Erek Lehen.
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, 2014.
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.
Suffolk's 2-0 quarterfinals win over the Falcons marked the Rams' fifth of the 2016 campaign, which is the most for the blue and gold since blanking six opponents in 2004.
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).
Davis earned the nod after having a hand in 75 percent of Suffolk's four goals at Mount Ida Oct. 5, scoring two and assisting on a third to help the Rams to a 4-0 victory over the Mustangs. Restrepo, meanwhile, picked up the nod following a five-point week Oct. 24.MORE READING: Davis Picks Up GNAC Corvias Rookie of the Week | Restrepo Named GNAC Rookie of the Week
PLAYER OF THE WEEK, AGAIN, AND AGAIN
For the third time this season, Alberto Bittan was recognized by the conference as the senior grabbed Co-GNAC Corvias Player of the Week honor Oct. 17.
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.
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.
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/.
The winner of Tuesday's semifinal contest will advance to the conference championship Saturday and take on the victor of #3 JWU/#2 Norwich Saturday, Nov. 5.