2010 Men’s GNAC Soccer Championship Preview
The #2 seeded Albertus Magnus Falcons will take on #4 seeded Suffolk Rams, Saturday Nov. 6th at 1:00pm at the Falcons’ Celentano Field.
#2 Albertus Magnus College (15-4-1, GNAC 6-2-1) cruised past 7th seeded St. Joseph’s ME in quarterfinals of the GNAC tournament. Junior forward, Jamal Howard, finished a corner kick by sophomore Steven Zapata to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead. Zapata, who was honored as GNAC Player of the week on Sept. 13th, added another assist in the game when freshman forward Rafael Guillen headed a corner to give Albertus the 2-0 score. The Monks came out strong in the second half, however, freshman goalkeeper Donato Piroscafo, made spectacular plays to keep the Falcons victorious in the shutout. Piroscafo also was honored as GNAC Goalie of the Week on Sept. 13th.
In Albertus’ semifinal game the Falcons’ faced #3
Norwich University, Tuesday afternoon on their home field in an
overwhelming 4-0 victory. Sophomore forward Alphonse Buccitti
scored two goals while Steven Zapata was at it again and scored
three assists. In the second half, Jamal Howard, finished a kick
from freshman Gabriel Goja to give Albertus a 3-0 lead. Goalie
Donato Piroscafo, saved the Falcons from a potential threat, when
he smothered a penalty kick and kept the 3-0 lead. Soon after,
Albertus took a 4-0 lead with a header from sophomore defenseman
Nick Hamasian, assisted by Zapata.
#4 Seed Suffolk University (10-7-1, GNAC 5-3-1) has had two critical victories during the GNAC playoffs, which includes an upset of the #1 seeded Lasell in the semi-finals. This will mark the Rams first appearance in the conference finals.
Entering their journey into the first round they faced #5 Emerson College. Senior Luis Flores stepped up when the game was on the line and scored the lone goal on an assist from Danny Lloyd, who was honored as GNAC and ECAC Player of the Week on Oct.18th . Suffolk’s defensive player, David Best, shut out the Lions’ when he kicked the ball out of the net right before it crossed the line.
Next on the road for the Rams was top ranked Lasell College. Sophomore Ben Rollins, got the Rams on the board early in the game as he tallied his seventh goal of the season, assisted by junior Nick Cugine. Freshman Nicholas DiCicco scored the game-winning goal with a pass from Rollins in the thirty-ninth minute, bringing the Rams up 2-0. This marked DiCicco sixth goal of the season and his second game-winner.
Rookie goal keeper, Matt Esposito, made five saves in each playoff game, with ten total and stopping four key shots in the second halves.
Regular Season Face-Off
When the Rams and the Falcons battled in the regular season the Falcons’ took a 3-1 victory on October 9th. Suffolk scored first when rookie forward Jeff Harvey finished a rebound and put the Rams up 1-0 early on. Right before halftime, Zapata tied it up with an assist from sophomore forward Alphonse Buccitti, making it 1-1.
The Falcons found the net right away in the second half when Buccitti scored off a shot on the post in the 57th minute giving the Falcons’ the 2-1 lead. Albertus solidified the win with Zapata adding his second goal of the game in the 77th minute of play bringing the final score to 3-1.