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Men's Soccer Scores Six In Sizzling Season Opener

Men's Soccer Scores Six In Sizzling Season Opener

NEW LONDON, Conn.  The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's soccer team put up a half-dozen on the Mariners of Mitchell College (MC), claiming a 6-0 wet-weather win in a non-conference, season-opening match on Alumni Field Wednesday night.

The Blue Jays scored early and often, setting the tone with the first goal in the ninth minute. Junior midfielder and captain Michael Torres (Hartford, Conn.) was just an arm's length away from fellow junior middie Mergim Kutllovci (Thomaston, Conn.) on a free kick from over 20 yards out. It looked like the duo took the Mariners defense by surprise, executing a quick-combination that left the MC goalie on the wrong side of the net, setting up a floating strike that hooked in at the perfect spot. The touch to find the top right corner of the cage from the left side was brilliant, as Kutllovci connected on a bench-exploding first goal of 2021 which would also serve as the game-winner.

The level of confidence was on full display from that point forward, adding goals in the 18th and 34th minutes to take a commanding 3-0 lead into the halftime break. The second half was more of the same, as the Blue Jays tacked on another three-piece to make it an even six goals, all while senior defender and captain Domeniko Skrelja (Ulcinj, Montenegro) anchored the backline defense to a shutout victory.

GAME INFORMATION
Score:  Saint Joseph 6, Mitchell 0
Records: USJ (1-0), Mitchell (0-1)
Location: Alumni Field | New London, Conn.

COACH QUOTE [Paul Wright]
"A very good team performance tonight. We controlled large portions of the game and were clinical in front of the goal. We have waited two years for a meaningful game, and it was fun to see both teams enjoying the competition."

GAME NOTES

  • The six goals for the Blue Jays is tied for the second most goals in a game in program history. It's also the second time USJ scored three goals in each half. The other came in a 10-0 rout of Lasell in 2019, where USJ scored five goals in both halves.
  • USJ is now 2-0 all-time against Mitchell, outscoring the Mariners, 10-0.
  • Five Blue Jays accounted for the six goals. Senior forward DeAnte Anderson (Bloomfield, Conn.), the Great Northeast Athletic Conference's second leading scorer in 2019, potted a pair.
  • The match was called in the 78th minute due to darkness.

NUMBER TO KNOW

0 – The Blue Jays have never lost a game when Kutllovci scores (4-0-1). The junior now has 11 career goals.

GOALIE BREAKDOWN

USJ
 – Junior Matthew Goebel (Norton, Mass.) had a relatively quiet evening in goal, picking up a save in just under 78 minutes of work, and of course, the shutout victory (1-0).

MC – Sophomore Dylan Kinsella (Waterbury, Conn.) took the loss (0-1), allowing six goals and made eight saves in the full 77+ minutes.

UP NEXT
The Blue Jays will conclude their two-game intrastate road stand to start the season in a battle with the Bantams of Trinity College, on Tuesday, September 7. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. under the lights on the Trinity Soccer Field.

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