PIONEERS OUTLAST NJCU, 1-0, IN NJAC OPENER
JERSEY CITY, NJ (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | William Paterson University got the only goal of the game early in the 56th minute after a scoreless first half, and took advantage of a huge break in the 85th minute when New Jersey City University's potential game-tying goal was blocked on the goal line by an NJCU offensive player as the Pioneers survived for a 1-0 victory in the New Jersey Athletic Conference opener for both schools played Saturday afternoon at the Robert L. McNulty Memorial Soccer Field.
WPU (3-3, 1-0 NJAC), outshot NJCU, 19-17 and had a 7-3 edge in corner kicks. The Pioneers defeated NJCU (4-2, 0-1 NJAC) for the fifth year in a row and the third time by a one-goal margin and leads the all-time series 32-19-4. The loss snaps NJCU's four-game winning streak.
The Pioneers had lost three of their last four coming in. All six games played by WPU this season have been decided by just one goal.
After a scoreless first 45 minutes, each team had 11 shots in the second half, but WPU got the difference maker at the 55:09 mark. Senior defender Andrew Tauriello (Stockton, NJ/Hunterdon Central Regional) launched a long throw in from the right sideline over the NJCU defense towards the left post, where freshman defender Aken Pierre (North Plainfield, NJ/St. Benedict's Prep) gathered a loose ball and put a short chip inside the post for his first collegiate goal. The assist was the second of the year for Tauriello.
NJCU would have tied it at the 84:48 mark when sophomore forward RAPHAEL ARAUJO (North Plainfield, NJ/North Plainfield), the reigning NJAC Offensive Player of the Week and NCAA scoring leader, took possession after a scramble from 10 yards in the middle of the box. But his shot, which would have gone in, hit senior midfielder NANA KOFI KUSI (Newark, NJ/Kumasi Academy (Ghana), who was standing adjacent to the left post on the goal line. It was NJCU's final shot of the game.