WINTHROP, Mass. – It was a hardware filled week for the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's soccer team, as sophomore forward DeAnte Anderson (Bloomfield, Conn.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Player of the Week, and freshman midfielder Michael Torres (Hartford, Conn.) was named GNAC Co-Rookie of the Week for the final week of the regular season, announced Monday by conference officials.
For Anderson, it is a conference-best third POTW award in 2019. He also earned GNAC Rookie of the Week once in 2018. Anderson had himself a stellar seven days, closing out the regular season with a 6-2 win over intrastate rival Albertus Magnus, scoring back-to-back goals and adding an assist (for a game-high five points). The win clinched the first-ever home playoff match for USJ men's soccer in the upcoming GNAC Tournament. Anderson finished the 2019 regular season tied for first in the conference with five multi-goal games, and second in points (38) and goals (17, only four behind first on nearly 40 fewer shots). Anderson had the highest shot percentage in the GNAC (30%) among those who scored at least five goals, and the Blue Jays went 9-2 when Anderson scored this season.
Three days later, Anderson and company had a rematch with Albertus Magnus in the GNAC quarterfinals, where the Blue Jays once again triumphed (this one in dramatic fashion), 1-0. It was a missed header by Anderson that led to the game-winning goal by his teammate, Torres, with less than a minute left, as Anderson's cut towards the goal drew three Albertus defenders, ultimately opening up the middle for Torres' rocket.
Torres, who is tied for second on the team in assists (4), provided the biggest goal in USJ men's soccer history Saturday, sending the Blue Jays to the GNAC semifinals for the first time. It was Torres' third goal of 2019, and a first of many for USJ men's soccer in the postseason: First home playoff goal, first game-winning playoff goal, and the first-ever postseason win. It also marks Torres' first-ever GNAC weekly award after picking up Co-Rookie of the Week honors.
The Blue Jays will head to the shoreline for a date with destiny, taking on top-seeded Johnson & Wales University in the GNAC semifinals. The match is slated for Wednesday, November 6, at 4:00 p.m.
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