Men’s Soccer Clinches ASUN Playoff berth in 4-1 win

Drew McDonald, Sports Editor

Khorri Newton

In the final game of their regular season,the Ospreys defeated NJIT with a heavy attack and solid ball control en route to a 4-1 victory, clinching ASUN playoff berth.

In the first half, the Ospreys (4-10, 3-3 ASUN) and Highlanders(6-11,1-5 ASUN) were trading shots until Sophomore LJ Estes found the net in the forty-first minute to put the Ospreys up 1-0.

The Highlanders quickly countered with a goal in the forty-third minute by Redshirt-Sophomore Rene White who got the feed from Sophomore Thomas Radon.

At the end of the half, both teams combined for 12 shots.

NJIT’s Goalkeeper, Victor Pujades, recorded four saves, including two corners.

The Ospreys came out firing on all cylinders in the second half as Freshman Bryson Smith scored a goal in the fifty-first minute, pushing the lead to 2-1.

“I just beat a guy and kept on going, I was waiting for the pass and the lane just opened up and I took it. It was an awesome feeling,” Smith said.

Junior Jake Hawker scored in the sixty-second minute on a feed from Smith to extend the Ospreys lead to 3-1.

Shane Nicholson celebrated his senior night by scoring the final goal of the night in the seventy-ninth minute on a pass by Smith for the final nail in the coffin for the Ospreys victory, 4-1.

Coach Derek Marinatos talked to Spinnaker about the team’s progression from non-conference to now.

“We’ve faced a lot of adversity, three season-ending injuries, four concussions, and guys being out. Regardless of our record, we knew that tonight if we got a result, we could put ourselves in position to be in a higher seed. At the end of the day, qualifying for the playoffs was our goal, and we got the job done,” Marinatos said.

A Game of Firsts

Bryson Smith recorded his first career goal during the match as well as Hawker.

Freshman goalkeeper Ryan Stevens earned his first career win, recording three saves.

Shane Nicholson ended his final home match with his first goal of the season.

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