West Hartford, Conn. - The Albertus Magnus College men's soccer team was unable to overcome a five-goal first half by the University of St. Joseph in a 6-2 loss its 2019 regular-season finale on Wednesday afternoon. With the loss, the Falcons clinch the fifth seed in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship Tournament.
FINAL: Univ. of St. Joseph (CT) 6 | Albertus Magnus 2
RECORDS: Albertus Magnus (9-8-1, 6-4-1 GNAC) | Univ. of St. Joseph (CT) (11-5-1, 7-4-0 GNAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Blue Jays took the lead, 1-0, with an eighth-minute tally. Mergim Kutllovci took possession of the ball in the box and sniped a shot into the upper 90 to beat Albertus' goalie.
St. Joseph went ahead 2-0 just over three minutes later with a goal from Anthony Delacruz. Delacruz buried a Hayden Burbank pass off of a corner kick right into the back of the net in the 11th minute.
The Blue Jays continued to apply pressure in the first half, scoring two more first-half goals to take a 4-0 lead into the break. Burbank scored a goal of his own in the 19th minute, while DeAnte Anderson found daylight in the 27th minute.
After St. Joseph took a 5-0 advantage to start the half, Abdoul Aremu (West Haven, Conn.) gave the Falcons their first goal. Tyler Saad (Shelton, Conn.) sent a corner kick into the box, where Aremu redirected it into the back of the net.
Albertus cut the deficit to 5-2 with a Salah Oumorou (West Haven, Conn.) tally in the 56th minute. Oumorou rocketed a ball from about 10 yards out past the opposing keeper to his left-hand side.
The Blue Jays added one more goal in the 88th minute to secure the 6-2 victory.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Albertus - Garfield Robinson (L, 6-6-1): Shots on Goal 14 | Goals-Against 6 | Saves 8
St. Joseph - John Griffin (W, 6-4-1): Shots on Goal 5 | Goals-Against 2 | Saves 3
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• St. Joseph owned a 22-13 advantage in shots in the game.
• The Blue Jays also owned a 9-7 lead in corner kicks.
• Aremu and Oumorou paced the Falcons' offense with four shots apiece.
• Aremu also finished with a team-high three shots on goal.
• St. Joseph's Kutllovci led all players with six total shots and four shots on goal.
• Garfield Robinson (West Haven, Conn.) made eight saves in a complete-game effort.
• Both teams combined for 31 fouls.
• With the loss, the Falcons clinch the fifth spot in the GNAC standings.
• USJ evens the all-time series at 1-1.
• Oumorou ends the regular season with 48 points and 21 goals, both lead the GNAC.
• Oumorou is now one goal and two points shy of tying the single-season program record in both categories.
• With the goal today, Aremu crossed the 20-point plateau for the first time in his career with eight goals and four assists this year.
• Aremu is second on the team in points, goals and assists.
With today's result, the Falcons booked a rematch with the Blue Jays in the GNAC Tournament Quarterfinals on Saturday, Nov. 2, in West Hartford, Conn. The battle between the two aerial foes is slated to begin at 2:30 p.m.
GNAC TOURNAMENT PREVIEW & SCHEDULE
• The Falcons will be making their 24th appearance in the postseason.
• The Falcons will be making their 19th straight postseason appearance.
• Albertus is 16-20-4 in the postseason.
Saturday, Nov. 2 - Quarterfinals
Game 1: #8 at #1
Game 2: #5 at #4
Game 3: #6 at #3
Game 4: #7 at #2
Tuesday, Nov. 5 - Semifinals (at higher seeds)
Game 5: 4/5 winner vs. 1/8 winner
Game 6: 3/6 winner vs. 2/7 winner
Saturday, Nov. 9 - Championship
Game 7: at the highest seed