Norwich claims inaugural Cadet Kickoff Classic crown
NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University men's soccer team defended its home field for the second straight day with a 4-0 win over Newbury College to claim its own inaugural Cadet Kickoff Classic title on Saturday.
The Cadets (2-0-0, 0-0-0 GNAC) won the classic-style format tournament over Mass. College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) by virtue of the goal differential tiebreaker. NU finished the tournament plus-12 after pounding Green Mountain College 8-0 on Friday. MCLA was plus-7 after beating Green Mountain 5-0 on Saturday, coupled with a 3-1 win over Newbury on Friday.
"It was important for us to get off to a good start this year after starting 1-5 last year," Norwich head coach Kyle Dezotell said. "We were hopeful to have early season success this year and we played well throughout the tournament. I'm really happy to give up zero goals over 180 minutes though. That's the thing we are happiest with."
Newbury (0-2-0) controlled the action for the first 15 minutes but the Cadets got a spark from freshman midfielder Christian Albrecht (Albuquerque, N.M.) in the 16th minute when he tallied his first collegiate goal that gave NU a lead it would never look back from.
Joe Young (Langley, Va.) found Albrecht in the penalty area with a pass from the end line that the rookie calmly settled before striking it with his left foot and tucking the ball just underneath the crossbar before settling into the back of the net.
"Newbury had some players and could pass the ball around a little bit," Dezotell said. "It was just a matter of being patient and using our width and just playing our style of soccer. Goals always change games and we were fortunate to get one at that point because up until then it was a battle."
Freshman Ludo Kamga (Tunis, Tunisia) continued his impressive start to his collegiate career by tallying his fourth goal of the season in the 23rd minute by side volleying the ball into the bottom right corner of the net with a shot from near the top of the penalty area.
Just 1:46 later junior center back Ryan Campbell (Damascus, Md.) headed home his second goal of the season off an assist from Young to complete the three goals in 10 minute scoring barrage.
Norwich capped the scoring just 29 seconds into the second half when senior midfielder Garrett Shufelt (Clifton Park, N.Y.) finished off a well-struck centering feed from sophomore Ryan Curley (East Haddam, Conn.).
Jeremy Bergeron made 10 saves for Newbury to drop to 0-1-0 on the year. Christian Hallstrom (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Greg Payne (State College, Pa.) combined to post their second straight team shutout without having to make a save. Hallstrom picked up the win to improve to 2-0 on the year.
At the end of the match, Norwich co-captains Campbell and Colin Pope (Tunbridge, Vt.) received the Vic Gardner '71 Memorial Championship trophy from Vic's wife Deb. The Cadet Kickoff Classic champion trophy is named after Vic, who was a former Norwich men's soccer alumnus who passed away after a battle with cancer in 2006.
"We really like to thank Deb Gardner and her family," Dezotell said. "We were honored to have them here this weekend. We're proud to be holding the Vic Gardner '71 Memorial Championship trophy at the end of the day."
Campbell was named the Defensive Most Valuable Player of the tournament and he was joined on the All-Tournament Team by NU teammates junior Wesley Keslin (Brossard, Quebec), Albrecht and Chris Bristol (Clinton, Conn.)
MCLA's Jake McCall was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player after tying for the tournament high in goals with four. Scott Winslow and Dillon Wager were also named to the All-Tournament team for the runner-up Trailblazers.
Newbury's Shaundize Moosavizadeh and Alex Chappell along with Green Mountain's Chris Gaskin and Matt Kukola rounded out the All-Tournament team honorees.
Norwich has now won seven straight games at Howard Field and with the win, Dezotell moves to within five games of earning his 100th career coaching win, as well as breaking the NU all-time career coaching wins record.
The Cadets will get a stern test on Wednesday when they host Plattsburgh State at 4 p.m. in another non-conference matchup. Last year, Plattsburgh beat Norwich 2-0.