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ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Haven is soccer town

Albertus Magnus was picked first in the 2011 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men’s soccer Preseason Poll as announced Tuesday evening.

Suffolk University, the reigning GNAC Champion, and Lasell College round out the top-three programs in the preseason rankings, while Norwich University and Emerson College were picked fourth and fifth, respectively.

“We are honored to be selected first in the GNAC preseason poll,” said head coach Jim Bernardo. “But we realize we still have a lot of work to do. We need to improve as the season progresses in order to reach our ultimate goal of winning the GNAC Tournament title and receiving the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.”

Albertus Magnus earned numerous accolades in 2010, led by Bernardo being named GNAC Coach of the Year as he guided his program to a second-place finish in the GNAC regular-season standings as well as a 15-6-1 overall record. The 2010 Falcons also earned an ECAC Tournament bid as a fifth seed.

The 15-win season in 2010 marked the best in program history, while six student-athletes earned GNAC postseason honors. The Falcons’ 2011 roster returns five of those six athletes, including NSCAA/Performance Subaru Men’s NCAA DIII All-New England Region Second Team member Jamal Howard (West Haven, Conn.).

The Falcons are currently 1-1 on the year after a 4-1 dominating win at Mount Saint Mary College on Sept. 3 and a season-opening 2-1 heartbreaker at Western Connecticut State on Sept. 1.

Bernardo and his 2011 squad return to action on Wednesday, Sept. 7 as they travel to Westfield State to take on the Owls in a 4:00 p.m. non-conference match-up. Conference play for the Falcons begins Saturday, Sept. 10 at Suffolk in Boston, Mass.

On the pitch on Wednesday, freshman Dallas Aminzadeh (Silver Springs, Md.) tallied the game-winning goal with just 1:48 remaining in regulation to send the Southern Connecticut State University men's soccer team to a 1-0 victory at Saint Rose on Wednesday evening. Aminzadeh's first collegiate goal came on a header off an assist from Francisco Lara (Laredo, Texas) and sent the Owls to their first win of the year.

Southern Connecticut is now 1-1, 1-0 in Northeast-10 Conference play. Saint Rose is 0-3, 0-1 in league action.

The Owls outshot the Golden Knights by a 14-4 margin for the game, including a 7-0 tally in the first half. However, the game seemed destined for extra time until some late heroics by the Owls.

SCSU was awarded a corner kick with just under two minutes left in regulation, and Aminzadeh cashed in on the play with the game-winner.

Keeper Andrew Esposito (East Haven, Conn.) stopped one shot to earn the shutout for the Owls.

Southern Connecticut is back in action on Saturday for a home game against Bloomfield.

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