BOSTON – The inaugural match of the 2016 Suffolk men's soccer season is in sight, as the Nighthawks of Newbury will come to James A. Sartori Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park for a 3:30 p.m. contest Thrusday, Sept. 1.
Stay up-to-date with all the latest news and notes on Suffolk Athletics by connecting with the Rams on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Be sure to use the hashtag #RamNation for an insider's look at Suffolk's teams and student-athletes.
Thursday's game against Newbury is part of a doubleheader for the Rams, as the women's team hosts WPI following the men's contest at 6 p.m.
RUNDOWN ON THE RAMS
With head coach James Boden at the helm in just his second season, Suffolk returns an experienced core. The Rams take the pitch without its lone graduating letterwinner, the blue-and-gold's starting net minder from a year ago.
A strong back line that retains the leadership of senior captain Ben Daniels will be looked upon to lead a squad that looks to rebound from a 2-16-1 finish in 2015 and make a run for its ninth post season run in the last 10 seasons. Suffolk will also call upon its top returning offensive threat from last season, sophomore Jordan Casey, who paced the Rams in goals (3), assists (4) and points (10) as a freshman in 2015.
Suffolk's keeper contingent is four deep with the hands of sophomore David Haines returning for his second season in blue-and-gold with sophomore Kyle Van Cleef and freshmen Jon Brodeur and Steven Lopez Toro joining the Rams goaltending ranks for their first seasons.
Under new leadership of first-year head coach Bill Maddock, Newbury returns to the turf after an 11-9-1 performance a year ago.
The Nighthawks return four of their five All-NECC selections from 2015. First-team selections, senior midfielder German Canales, who is coming off a career year of three goals and a team-best six assists, and classmate defender Prince Boateng, who helped Newbury to six shutouts last season, highlight the group. The second leading Nighthawks' scorer, Ethan Forrest, also returns at forward with midfielder Alex Davis rounding out the standout returnees.
Jarrod Smith will retake his place in between the pipes for Newbury. As a freshman in 2015, Smith started 16 games, made 83 stops for a 1.35 goals-against average and .776 save percentage.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Suffolk's and Newbury's all-time series dates back to 2004, but the teams have only met twice in that span. The Rams shutout the Nighthawks in both meetings and have outscored Newbury, 6-0.
Since 2003, Suffolk is 8-4 in the first game of the season, however, the Rams have dropped three season openers and look to snap that skid Thursday afternoon.
PACING THE SIDELINES
Head coach James Boden is in his second year at the helm for the Rams, tallying a 2-16-1 (xxx) record in the process. He has coached one All-GNAC selection.
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/.
1. Johnson & Wales
2. St. Joseph's (Maine)
3. Mount Ida
5. Albertus Magnus
10. Anna Maria
|2015 GNAC RECORD
Suffolk remains at home over the holiday weekend as it welcomes in UMass Dartmouth Sunday, Sept. 4 for a 1 p.m. showdown.