MAHWAH, NJ – The New Jersey City University men’s soccer team, led by an outstanding goaltender for the shutout, defeated Ramapo College in the quarterfinal round of the 2022 Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Men’s Soccer Championship today, Sunday, November 13 ( ECAC). The Roadrunners hosted this weekend’s two-round pod as the top seed and earned a bye to tonight’s quarterfinals while NJCU was seeded 2nd. The Gothic Knights defeated Ramapo 1-0 in overtime to celebrate their first win over their New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rivals since 2012.
Jersey City (12-5-2) earned a place in tonight’s game after beating Saint Elizabeth University, also on the Ramapo campus, 2-0 in the first round yesterday, Saturday 12 November . Today the Gothic Knights were surpassed in shots at 12-3 by the Roadrunners (6-7-4), but senior keeper’s combination Nick Linebaugh (Linden, NJ/St. Benedict’s Prep) – nine saves – and rookie netminder Khalid Kwaik (Montville Parish, NJ/Montville) — three saves — set up a team shutout to keep NJCU inside.
At the same time, the Gothic Knights’ first real opportunity came early in the second half as a sophomore forward Danny Tobon (Clifton, NJ/Clifton) landed one on goal in the 57th. The Green and Gold freshman winger then rang the bar in the 75th for NJCU’s next solid scoring opportunity. After 90 minutes, however, neither team could score and for the first time this season the Gothic Knights went into overtime.
In a strange turn of events, Linebaugh was called out just a minute after overtime for touching the ball with his hands outside the 18-yard box. Because of this, Kwaik walked in for the first time since September 9 and promptly saw a barrage of Roadrunner gunshots. The rookie had to stop the free kick that came from the aforementioned red card immediately. He then saw three Ramapo corners that converted into two more shots on goal in the 94th and 97th, but he stopped both again to keep it scoreless.
Finally, in the last minute of the first overtime, newly minted midfielder Juan Vizcaino (Clifton, NJ/Clifton) struck gold literally in the 100th minute as Tobon set up his teammate for the game-winning golden goal. The tally, Vizcaino’s fourth of the season and Tobon’s team- and NJAC-leading ninth assist, put NJCU 1-0 for the win.
Jersey City is now taking a week off before returning to action next Saturday 19 November for the ECAC Semi-Finals at a location to be determined. This is the first time since 2012 that the Gothic Knights have reached the ECAC semi-finals.