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Rutgers men's soccer survives late rally to defeat St. Joseph's 2-1

The Rutgers men's soccer team remains undefeated with its win over St. Joseph's. – Photo by Rutgers Men's Soccer / Twitter

The Rutgers men’s soccer team defeated St. Joseph’s 2-1 at Yurcak Field tonight, led by a pair of goals from freshman forward Nico Rosamilia. The Scarlet Knights (5-0-1, 0-0-0) extended their unbeaten streak to six games — with four of those being shutouts on the defensive end.

“I thought the middle third of the game we played quite well,” said head men's soccer coach Jim McElderry after the game. “(Rosamilia) getting two goals was great. We had a bunch of chances to … get that third one and put it to bed, but we didn’t.”

Much of the Rutgers attack in the first half came from corners and free kicks, but the opening goal came from open play in the 44th minute. Sophomore forward Ola Maeland beat defenders to get a clear lane down the right side of the box and squared the ball for Rosamilia, who finished the chance. The Knights went into the break tied 6-6 in shots while having a 3-0 advantage in shots on goal.

Rutgers didn’t take long to get its second goal of the match, doubling its advantage in the 46th minute. It was another set up from Maeland, who brought the ball up the right flank and floated a cross into the box that was finished on the far post by Rosamilia.

“It’s been a long start to the season — and it’s a Friday-Monday (split between games) so we had some guys starting the game that just looked a little fatigued,” McElderry said. “So I thought Ola and Nico really came on and gave us a lift there, and those two guys are tough to deal with when they’re fresh and moving at pace.”

With his brace tonight, Rosamilia has his first two goals of his collegiate career — and is currently tied for the lead in goals with senior midfielder Pablo Avila. The New York Red Bulls development academy product has played all six games so far this season, starting in three of them.

“Playing the first six games, it shows that the coaches and the teammates have a lot of confidence in me,” Rosamilia said. “It makes me want to play well for the team.”

The Knights conceded a goal in the 87th minute, when a botched clearance fell to the feet of Alex Hood, who finished in the upper right corner of the net.

Rutgers finished the game outshot 14-13 in total shots, but held an 8-3 advantage in shots on goal. The Knights also held a 10-8 advantage in corner kicks in the game.

Rutgers now gears up for its Big Ten opener — a Friday night road trip to Bloomington, Indiana to take on Indiana. The Hoosiers (3-2-1, 0-0-0) are coming off a Big Ten title in the spring season, having won the last three Big Ten Championships.

For updates on the Rutgers men's soccer team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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