Nationally-ranked Scarlet Raptors open season with shutout win
BALTIMORE, Maryland (Sept. 2, 2012) – The nationally-ranked Rutgers University-Camden men's soccer team had to wait a day to play its first game.
The results were well worth the delay.
The Scarlet Raptors, who were tied for fourth in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division III Men's National Pre-Season rankings, scored only 4:31 into the game and held Wesley College to only one shot as they beat the Wolverines, 3-0, to win the weather-shortened Blue Jay Classic.
The game, which had been scheduled for Saturday night, was postponed by lightning at Johns Hopkins University, forcing a reshuffling of the schedule that left each team with only one contest. The Raptors won on goal differential over William Paterson, which beat host Johns Hopkins, 2-1 in overtime, earlier Saturday.
The victory leaves the Scarlet Raptors with a 25-3-2 record in their last 30 games, dating back to their last five games of the 2010 season. They were 19-3-2 last season when they advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight and finished ranked No. 5 in the final NSCAA Top 25 and No. 8 in the final D3soccer.com poll.
The victory ensures the Scarlet Raptors will be ranked in the national polls for the 12th consecutive week, dating back to last September, when the season's first rankings are released. Rutgers-Camden will appear in the Top 25 for the ninth straight week after breaking into the polls last September 13th with three straight weeks of "Receiving Votes".
Sophomore midfielder Cameron Scotese (Washington Township, NJ/Washington Township) was named the tournament MVP.
"He offered a great presence on the field when we needed the pace of the game to calm down and he helped organize our midfield third defensively," said Scarlet Raptors Head Coach Tim Oswald, who raised his record to 83-36-17 while opening his seventh season at Rutgers-Camden.
Rutgers-Camden opened the scoring at 4:31 when senior midfielder Casey Doyle (West Orange, NJ/Seton Hall Prep) fired one of his long throw-ins toward the back post over the head of Wesley junior keeper Mark Mattern (Carney, MD/Kenwood), who deflected it in the net.
That goal would have been more than enough for the Raptors' stingy defense, which held Wesley to only one shot in the entire game. That shot, which was wide of the net, didn't come until the 71:09 mark. It allowed junior goalie Mike Randall (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East) to post a shutout in his first collegiate start. He became the Raptors' first starter in goal since 2007 other than Tim VanLiew, who started every Rutgers-Camden game – 89 in all – during his four-year career. VanLiew is now in his first year as an assistant coach with the Raptors.
Rutgers-Camden broke the game open midway through the second half. At 69:36, freshman midfielder Mike Ryan (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) scored his first collegiate goal off a through ball from junior forward Stevan Austino (Buena, NJ/Buena Regional). Ryan, the high school player of the year in New Jersey last season, one-touched a shot to the far post.
The Raptors added their final goal at 72:14 when senior back Matt Lanouette (Hopewell, NJ/Hopewell Valley Central) one-touched a shot past Mattern off a corner kick by freshman midfielder Grant Taylor (Tewksbury, NJ/West Morris-Mendham). It was the first collegiate point for Taylor.
Rutgers-Camden held a 16-1 advantage in shots and an 8-4 edge in corner kicks.
Junior forward Mitch Grotti (Milmay, NJ/Millville), a Second Team All-American last season, had six shots for the Raptors, including one off a post and one off the crossbar.
Mattern finished with seven saves for the Wolverines.
The Scarlet Raptors return to action Wednesday with a 6:30 p.m. game at Cabrini College.