NEW HAVEN, Conn.- The Albertus Magnus men's soccer team recorded a successful season in 2019, posting an overall mark of 9-9-1 with their best home record in the last five seasons at 7-2, racking up a host of conference and regional accolades in the process.
The Falcons burst out of the gate to start the year, recording three straight shutouts over the University of Maine-Farmington, Nichols College, and Dean College. The Falcons kicked off the season with a 3-0 win over Maine-Farmington on August 30, their first-ever victory against the Beavers. Three different players-Abdoul Aremu (West Haven, Conn.), Carlos Lopez (Bridgeport, Conn.), and Salah Oumorou (West Haven, Conn.)-scored goals for Albertus. Freshman goalie Jared Brennan (North Haven, Conn.) logged a shutout with six saves.
Oumorou's onslaught continued in wins over Nichols (1-0) and Dean (4-0), when he scored the lone goal against the Bison and two of the four goals against the Bulldogs. Senior John Iannucci-Berger (Oakville, Conn.) and freshman Anthony Barreira (Beacon Falls, Conn.) both contributed their first career goals against Dean.
The @AMCAthletics men's soccer team improves to 3-0 on the season following a 4-0 win over @DeanAthletics!!! This is the third straight shutout for the Falcons!! #GoFalcons #FearlessFalcons #thisisFalconawesome pic.twitter.com/caua4ccjg5— Albertus Falcons (@AMCAthletics) September 5, 2019
The Falcons' win streak to start the year ended when they fell in double overtime to Pine Manor, 4-3, on September 7. Albertus rebounded in its next game on September 14 with a massive 2-1 victory over conference rival Suffolk in double OT. Peter Rivera (Norwalk, Conn.) struck first for the Falcons on an assist from Michael Lanouette (Hamden, Conn.), sinking a header into the corner of the net for the Falcons' first goal of the afternoon. The Rams retaliated swiftly, draining a shot less than a minute later, tying the game at 1-1. A Suffolk penalty on Oumorou in overtime resulted in a penalty kick for the star forward, who promptly fired it past the Rams' goalie to earn a 2-1 victory for Albertus.
Following the win over Suffolk, the Falcons went 1-2-1 to close out the month of September. In the GNAC, Albertus defeated Lasell University by a convincing 4-0 score after dropping a 4-0 decision to Saint Joseph's College of Maine a week prior. Oumorou continued his impressive start to the season with two more goals against the Lasers, his second multi-goal game to that point of the year.
In October, Albertus picked up key wins over both Rivier University and Regis (Mass.) College in their first two GNAC contests, both of which were at home. Aremu netted a goal in both games, creating the difference in a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Rivier in the first match. Oumorou tallied six points across both bouts, assisting on Aremu's strike in the opener and recording two goals and one assist in a 5-1 Albertus victory over Regis.
The Falcons closed out the year with a 6-5-0 record in the GNAC following wins over Colby Sawyer College (5-2) and Anna Maria College (8-0) to conclude the 2019 regular season. With a 6-5-0 league mark, Albertus earned the No. 5 seed in the upcoming GNAC Tournament. The Falcons' offense was clicking at home against both the Chargers and AMCATS, netting at least five goals in each contest. Oumorou again stole the show against Anna Maria, as he was responsible for a career-best five goals of the team's eight.
Men's Soccer Explodes for Season-High Eight Goals in Win over Anna Mariahttps://t.co/FYv9ylCwQ1— Albertus Falcons (@AMCAthletics) October 26, 2019
As the fifth seed in the GNAC Tournament, Albertus had to head to No. 4 University of St. Joseph (Conn.) for a quarterfinal matchup. The bout proved to be a defensive battle, with neither team scoring a goal until the 90th minute. Unfortunately for the Falcons, the Blue Jays took advantage of their home-field to earn a last-second victory to advance to the GNAC Semifinals. Freshman goalie Garfield Robinson (West Haven, Conn.) added to his stellar rookie season by holding USJ to just one goal, despite facing a season-high 10 shots.
In 2019, the Falcons were led by stellar performers from all four classes. On the offensive side of the ball, Oumorou and Aremu stole the show. Oumorou paced the team with 48 points, 21 goals, six game-winning goals, and six assists. The junior striker's 48 points and 21 goals were both second on the Falcons' single-season all-time list. He finished 2019 ranked seventh in all of Division III in goals and eighth in points. After a record-setting season, Oumorou was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Year and was selected to the All-New England Region Team. He was also picked First Team All-Conference after leading the GNAC in points, goals, and shots (93).
Oumorou Named GNAC Offensive Player of the Year, Joins Lopez on All-Conference Teams https://t.co/dMBUHP06rt— Albertus Falcons (@AMCAthletics) November 11, 2019
Aremu concluded his junior campaign second on the team with a career-best 20 points on eight goals and four assists. He appeared in 18 of 19 contests for the Falcons and logged nine games with multiple points. After back-to-back productive seasons, Aremu ranks 18th in career goals (16) and 19th in career points (38) on the Falcons' all-time leaderboard.
Joining Oumorou with All-GNAC consideration was freshman midfielder Carlos Lopez (Bridgeport, Conn.), who was tabbed to the Third Team. Lopez started 17 of 19 appearances and tallied three points on one goal and one assist. He was a vital part of the Falcons' defense that ranked fifth in the conference with a 1.69 goals-against average.
Between the pipes, freshmen Robinson and Brennan combined to play all 1755:27 minutes for the Falcons, making 107 saves with a .764 save percentage and six shutouts, three each. Robinson went 6-7-1 in 15 games, while Brennan was 3-2-0 in seven appearances.
The Falcons bid farewell to a five-member senior class in the aforementioned 8-0 win over Anna Maria on October 26. The senior class featured Iannucci-Berger, Albert Afful (West Haven, Conn.) Diogo Cruz (Naugatuck, Conn.), Matt Cotto (Stratford, Conn.) and Tyler Saad (Shelton, Conn.). All five seniors played critical roles on the team, with each appearing in at least 12 games in 2019.
In addition to their on-field achievements, the Falcons also excelled in the classroom. Julian Barrantes (Bridgeport, Conn.), Michael Lanouette (Hamden, Conn.), Garrett Oliver (Goshen, Conn.), Declan Ryan (Hamden, Conn.), Cotto, Iannucci-Berger, and Robinson all represented the men's soccer team on the Fall 2019 Dean's List (STORY).