BOSTON – Suffolk men's soccer put together an exhilarating 1-0 victory over Norwich Wednesday night at James A. Sartori Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park.
SCORE: Suffolk 1 | Norwich 0
RECORDS: Suffolk (2-3-1, 1-2-0 GNAC) | Norwich (5-2-1, 1-1-1 GNAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk spent the majority of the first half fighting off the Cadets' attack. The blue-and-gold backed up netminder Steven Lopez, who turned aside all four shots he faced, to keep Norwich off the scoreboard over the first set of 45 minutes.
Offensively, meanwhile, the Rams only opportunities on target, both of which were well outside the 40-yard line and no real match for the gloves of Robert Wagenseller.
Much of the same could be said about the second stanza. Norwich saw its best chance come with just over 10 minutes remaining in regulation. On a near breakaway, the GNAC's leading scorer Joseph Thonsgythavong beat the Rams' defender for a one-on-one chance with Suffolk's keeper. Thongsythavong high kick met the tip of Lopez glove as the senior made a leaping, punch save to keep Norwich off the board.
The Rams used the momentum from the highlight reel save on the offense end. On its own breakaway Emilio Tenacio threaded the needle to find Sunjoon Tenorio. The rookie took the ball over the top, shot misdirected, from the left into the fair right of the net to break open the scoreless game in the 81st minute.
Norwich had a change to answer seven minutes later. In a cluster in front of Suffolk's goal Amerle Nemeye had an opening, but once again. Lopez was there. This time the netminder made a sliding save to keep the one-goal game in tact for the hosts.
The Cadets continued to put on the pressure. Suffolk's defense backed up Lopez down the stretch including a monster blocks from Jackson Hines with 53 seconds left. The visitors were relentless and did not give up until the whistling. Norwich fired off off two more shots in the final 26 seconds, both of which Lopez turned aside to secure the shutout for the Rams.
KEEPING UP WITH THE KEEPERS
- Lopez had a standout showing with a 12-save cleansheet.
- Wagensellar registered three saves in the setback.
- Tenorio was responsible for the lone score on the night with his classmate, Tenacio responsible for the assist.
- Norwich held a hefty 32-7 advantage in shots including a 12-4 edge in attempts on target.
- The Cadets had the upper hand in corners as well, 7-4.
- Suffolk defeated Norwich for the first time since 2011, and fourth time in the all-time series, dating back to 2001.
- The shutout is Suffolk's first over the Norwich in the Rams' record book, which date back to the 2003 season.
- Suffolk snapped an eight-game skid against Norwich.
- The Rams handed the Cadets their first league loss of 2019.
- Tenorio netted his second collegiate game winner.
- Both of Suffolk's victories this season have come in 1-0 fashion, each of which were won by a Tenorio goal.
- Lopez produced a personal-best 12 saves for his first-ever shutout.
Suffolk remains in Boston Saturday, Sept. 28 when the reigning GNAC Champion Saint Joseph's (Maine) comes to town for a matinee, 12 p.m. kick off.