NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- For the second straight season, the No. 3 Monroe College men's soccer team earned the NJCAA Region XV Championship after defeating ASA College by a score of 3-0 Friday afternoon at City Park. The Mustangs defeated ASA in the Region Championship game in 2016, and advance to the Northeast District Championship for the second year in row.
After a number of opportunities, the Mustangs finally broke through in the 32nd minute after some back-and-forth play between Jorge Figueroa and Carlos Rodriguez. Figueroa sent it into the box for Rodriguez, who fired to the low-right corner of the net and past the keeper to put the Mustangs ahead, 1-0.
Early in the second frame, the Mustangs worked the ball up the field with some smart passes and stellar footwork. Nishioka held the ball in the right side of the box, and managed to cross to the left to a wide open Gabriel Machado, who chipped it past the keeper into the left corner of the net to make it a 2-0 game in favor of the Mustangs. In the 74th minute of play, Osman Fofanah dribbled into the box, where he found Rodriguez, who netted his second of the day to make it a 3-0 Mustang edge.
Goalkeeper Svyat Kozak improves to 7-0-1 on the year with his seventh shutout of the season on Friday. ASA keeper Michael Bolvin stopped 12 shots, but gave up three goals to shoulder the loss.
Rodriguez scored twice, including the early game winner, to lead the Mustangs to victory on Friday. Machado added the Mustangs' second goal, while Figueroa, Nishioka and Fofanah provided the assists. The Mustangs fired off 18 shots in the win, holding their opponents to just five, and held a 16-2 edge in shots on goal. Monroe also earned four corner kicks, while allowing just two to the Avengers.
The Mustangs now head to the Northeast District Championship for the second straight season. The Mustangs will hit the road next weekend for the game against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.