BOSTON – In the midst of its homestand, the Suffolk men's soccer team returns to GNAC play Saturday, Sept. 24 when it entertains Johnson & Wales at James A. Sartori Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park. Game time is slated for 1 p.m.
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LAST TIME OUT
The Suffolk men's soccer team came back and tied the game twice, but it was not enough as Salve Regina bested the Rams, 4-3, at James A. Sartori Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park Sept. 19.
MORE READING: Men's Soccer Edged by Salve Regina, 4-3
RUNDOWN ON THE RAMS
Suffolk picked up its first conference victory in a 1-0 shutout at Albertus Magnus to be one of four unbeaten teams in the leagues standings at 1-0. Overall, the Rams are 3-4.
Suffolk's 20-goal offense is good for third amongst its conference competition. Alberto Bittan's 11 tallies lead the way with the senior also dishing out a league-best four assists for 26 points. Jordan Casey's three goals and three handouts put the sophomore in seventh in goals and points, while his assist are good for fourth amongst league players.
The Rams defensive side of play, meanwhile, is near the bottom of the conference ranks as their goals-against average (2.50) clocks in at eighth. In five appearances, Kyle Van Cleef boasts a 2-3 ledger with a .675 save percentage and a 2.49 goals-against average. Jon Brodeur is 1-1 with 13 saves (.722) and five goals allowed (2.53 gaa).
The defending GNAC Champion heads to Boston on a five-game unbeaten streak, which features wins over Rivier (4-0), Elms (7-4) and Curry (5-0). The Wildcats sit atop the league standings at 1-0-1 and are 5-1-2 on the year.
As a team, the Wildcats have put the ball in the back of the net the second-most amount of times of GNAC teams with 21 goals. Johnson & Wales defense also ranks second as it only gives up 1.11 goals per outing.
Individually, Xavier Carty paces the Wildcats attack with four goals and three assists. Jason Crus (3-1), Erick Schneider (3-1) and Andrew Vecre (2-3) all add seven points to the offensive side of things.
Nichols Mancini has played in seven contests, starting six, in net for JWU. The netminder ranks in the middle of the GNAC goalies in all categories with a 1.35 goals-against average and .722 save percentage.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Since 2002, Suffolk trails the series with JWU, 6-9-1. After shutting out the Wildcats 2-0 in 2014, JWU returned the favor to the Rams twice last season, defeating the blue and gold 7-0 and 9-0. JWU has doubled Suffolk's scoring, 44-22.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK, AGAIN
Alberto Bittan of the Suffolk men's soccer team once again was tabbed the GNAC Corvias Player of the Week after an 11-point, 2-1 week for the Rams the conference office announced Sept. 19.
MORE READING: Bittan Grabs GNAC Corvias Player of the Week, Again
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.
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 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's takes a week to prepare for Lasell as the Lazers stop by Eastie Saturday, Oct. 1 for a 1 p.m. contest.