NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's soccer team defeated MCLA, 5-0, on Friday evening in its inaugural men's athletic contest since transitioning to a full coeducation institution this fall. With the win, the Blue Jays improve to 1-0-0 on the season, while the Trailblazers slip to 0-1-0 after each team's opening match of the 2018 season. The Blue Jays will return to the pitch next on Wednesday, September 5th when they travel to Sarah Lawrence for a 5:00 p.m. kickoff with the Gryphons.
After a scoreless thirty minutes of end-to-end action, the Blue Jays took over the match. In the 31st minute, the Blue Jays were a beneficiary of an own goal to account for the first point in UJS men's soccer history. West Hartford's own and Hall High product, freshman Matt Lombardo (West Hartford, Conn.), fired a cross towards the right post that caught a Trailblazer defender and caromed into the net for a 1-0 USJ advantage.
The Blue Jays would tack on another marker just four minutes later. On the fifth USJ corner kick of the match, Lombardo sent the service into the box and it was headed by freshman Domeniko Skrelja (Watertown, Conn) perfectly to co-captain and classmate Marcello Delvalle (Bristol, Conn.). Delvalle slipped the shot into the left corner to push the USJ lead to 2-0 and account for the first point in program annals. The score would remain that way until halftime.
In the second half, the Blue Jays extended their lead in the 48th minute. Freshman Kayden Parrilla (Windham, Conn.) sent a cross into the box that found the foot of sophomore Kevin Bilbraut (Hartford, Conn.) and extended the lead to 3-0.
USJ's freshman Daniel Castro (Willimantic, Conn.) then would add a pair of goals in the 82nd and 83rd minutes to ice the game and complete the scoring. The first was assisted by freshman DeAnte Anderson (Bloomfield, Conn.) before following with an unassisted marker.
The Blue Jays dominated the majority of play in their program and season opener, outshooting the Trailblazers 24-10, and holding an 11-1 advantage in corner kicks in the contest.
Freshman Anes Gadun (Clinton, Conn.) only needed to stop one of the 10 MCLA shots en route to recording the shutout in his first career action between the pipes for the Blue Jays. Sophomore Sean Bradshaw (Clifton Park, N.Y.) absorbed the loss for MCLA finishing with three saves.
- USJ outshot MCLA 11-3 in the opening half of play.
- An MCLA own goal and a Devalle strike accounted for the scoring for the Blue Jays.
- The Blue Jays outshot the Trailblazers 13-7 over the final 45 minutes of play.
- Bilbraut pushed the lead to 3-0 after a fortunate carom off a pass from Parrilla.
- Castro secured the match with back-to-back goals in a 1:01 span to clinch the first-ever men's soccer victory.
The USJ men's soccer team is back in action next on Wednesday, September 5th at 5:00 p.m. at Sarah Lawrence.