|SEPTEMBER 2 | 1 PM | JAMES A. SARTORI STADIUM|
|SEPTEMBER 3 | 1 PM | JAMES A. SARTORI STADIUM|
BOSTON – Locked and loaded, the Suffolk men's soccer team is set for Labor Day Weekend with back-to-back home matches at James A. Sartori Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park. Mass. Maritime Academy head to Eastie for a Saturday showdown Sept. 2 as the Rams take the first kick of the 2017 campaign versus the Buccaneers at 1 p.m. Exactly 24 hours later fellow Rams, Framingham State, makes the trip to Bean Town.
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RAPID RAMS REWIND
2016 featured multiple highs for Suffolk men's soccer including its ninth GNAC postseason trip, third straight, in the last 10 seasons thanks to the most victories against conference counterparts (6-3) since joining the league in 1999.
As the fourth seed, hosting the quarterfinals for the first time since 2010, Suffolk took down sixth-seeded Albertus Magnus thanks to a two-goal effort by Jordan Casey and perfect back stop action by Jon Brodeur.
From there, the Rams traveled North to regular season champion Saint Joseph's (Maine) for the semis, Suffolk's third overall trip to the second round in the post season and first since 2010. The blue-and-gold could not overcome the tournament's top seed however, and wrapped up its season, 9-10 overall.
GUESS WHO'S BACK
A veteran squad highlighted by reigning Rookie of the Year and all-league third-team selection from last season Jarrett Davis returns to the field for Suffolk. Joining the midfielder, is fellow third-teamer Christian Restrepo and second-team and GNAC All-Tournament Team selection Jordan Casey.
In net, the Rams three headed goaltender tandem of Jon Brodeur, David Haines, Steven Lopez and Kyle Van Cleef are all back. The quartet produced a combined 2.50 goals-against average and a .688 save percentage. Brodeur paced the pack with a 2.39 goals against average and a .701 save percentage to his credit.
NEW FACES IN NEW PLACES
Suffolk's line up with get a boost from multiple fresh faces as over half of the roster are newcomers to Ram Nation. Over the freshman, junior and sophomore classes there are 16 new student-athletes have joined the squad this season.
Suffolk's 31-man roster is comprised mainly of Bay State locals, with 18 Rams hailing from Massachusetts. Connecticut has three players with a pair coming up from Florida. Stateside, Maine, New Hampshire and New York are also represented. The Rams also boast multiple international student-athletes, with players coming from the Congo, Guatemala, Mexico, Scotland and Venezuela.
The Rams are majorly made up of underclassman with 13 sophomores and 11 true freshmen. As far as the veterans go, there are five juniors and a pair from the Class of 2018.
Mass. Maritime opens the curtain of its head coach's, Greg Perry, 25th season Saturday in Eastie.
The Buccaneers will look to be led by Brendan Gawron who paced the Buccaneer scoring parade in 2016 with seven goals in just 14 outings. William Taylor, one of the squad's three captains, meanwhile, will also be called upon to impact Mass. Maritime's offensive unit. Last season, Taylor put away four goals and three assists for 11 points last season, while appearing in the starting lineup 13 of his 16 outings.
Mike Pruchnik returns to his post in net for the Buccaneers. A second team All-MASCAC honoree last season, put together six wins and a pair of cleansheets in between the pipes with 89 saves and a 1.51 goals against average. Connor Murphy will provide depth in goal.
INSIDE THE SERIES
The Suffolk, Mass. Maritime series dates back to 1989 with the Buccaneers commanding the majority of the first 10 meetings. After 1998, the blue-and-gold did not meet the academy again until 2006, the teams last dual on the pitch, which the Rams came out victorious, 5-2.
RUNDOWN ON THE FSU RAMS
Framingham State travels to Eastie after opening its 2017 slate at UMass Dartmouth Friday afternoon.
Two of the three top offensive outlets for the Rams are back on the turf. Ken Stahovish set-up as many goals as he scored (6) to lead the way in 2016 with 18 points as a sophomore. Classmate Simon Appiah also put up double digit points last season, producing 12 on six assists and three markers.
The goalie contingent from last season is back for FSU with Josh Arno anchoring the pack. The now senior put together a 7-6 ledger in net last season with a 1.13 goals against average and a .843 save percentage. Corey Davidge, who split time in net with Arno last year, will back up the senior this campaign.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Since 2003, Suffolk and Framingham State have taken the court five times. The FSU Rams earned the last win by a 4-0 shutout decision, but to open the season the blue-and-gold Rams command the series going 3-0-1 to hold a 3-1-1 record versus FSU.
LIFTING THE LID
- Suffolk has dropped its season opener in the past four seasons and looks to snap the skid Saturday afternoon.
- Under James Boden, the Rams are 0-2 in the first game of the season, dropping both contests in 2015 and 2016, respectively, by a 3-2 margin.
- Overall since 2002, the Rams are 9-6 in the first test of the year.
- For the third straight season, the Rams will lift the lid on their campaign on their home field. Since 2002, Suffolk is 5-2 when playing the first game of a new campaign on its home pitch.
- The Rams have locked up a victory in game one in shutout fashion four times since 2002. The last time the blue and gold blanked its opponents in the first contest of the year was a 5-0 triumph over Eastern Nazarene in 2007.
- On the flip side of things, Suffolk has been kept off the scoreboard twice in game one. Framingham State is the last opponent to hold the blue and gold scoreless in the season debut, doing so in 2014 in 4-0 fashion.
- Suffolk will face Mass. Maritime for the first time in the season opener dating back to 2002.
AT THE HELM
James Boden returns to the Rams' bench for his third season While commanding the blue-and-gold, Boden has put together a 9-10 overall mark with a 6-3 league ledger including the most successful season in the GNAC (6-3) in 2016 since Suffolk joined the conference's ranks in 1999. In two seasons, he has coached a GNAC Rookie of the Year in 2016 selection Jarrett Davis and six All-GNAC honorees.
SUFFOLK FREE RADIO
For the second straight season, Suffolk Athletics and Suffolk Free Radio have teamed up to bring Ram Nation live play-by-play audio broadcast for multiple home and away events throughout the 2017-18 seasons.
The pregame show will launch 15 minutes prior to game time of all contests and fans can follow along here.
1. St. Joseph's (Maine)
3. Johnson & Wales
5. Albertus Magnus
8. Mount Ida
10. Anna Maria
|2016 GNAC RECORD
MORE READING: Men's Soccer Announces 2017 Captains
Suffolk will hit the road for the first time in 2017, but it will not travel far as it takes on Boston neighbor Emerson in a midweek matchup, Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.