2017 NJCAA DIII Men's Soccer National Championship
2017 NJCAA DIII Men’s Soccer National Championship
Hosted by Herkimer College
The 2017 men’s NJCAA DIII soccer nationals will be hosted by Herkimer County Community College. All games will be played at Wehrum Stadium beginning Thursday November 9th. There will be eight teams competing for this year’s national championship.
This year’s field is loaded with talent and should shape up to be an exciting tournament. There will be high scoring offenses going up against very tough defenses who do not give up many goals. Four of the eight teams in this years national bracket rank in the top ten for goals scored . The field also features two of the nation’s top five NJCAA DIII leading scorers (Murphy-Herk. - #1, Sasay-Rich. #3) and two of the top five national assist leaders (Livesey-Gen. #1, Quintazac-Suff. #5).
For every good offense this field is carrying there will be an outstanding defense looking to shut them down. Five of the teams have only allowed twenty goals or less all season. Two of them have a goals-against average of .66 or less (Wollery, Herk-.57, Ormiston, Gen-.66).
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Preview Match 1 – Wehrum Stadium (Herkimer, NY)
Richland (TX) (12-2-1) #1 vs. Ocean County (NJ) (9-8-2) #8 @ 11:00 am
Richland comes in as the #1 ranked team in the nation and with a target on their back. They will be looking to repeat last year’s performance and be the last team standing again. Their offense is led by forward James Sasay who ranks 4th nationally in goals scored and 8th in total points. Richland also ranks 12th in shutouts this year (6) and will serve as a reminder to every opponent that their defense is just as good as their offense.
Don’t let Ocean County’s (NJ) record fool you. These guys like to shoot the ball every chance they get. Ranking 8th in shots and 3rd in shots on goal, Richland’s defense will have their hands full. Forward Doug Jensen will lead the attack. He managed 20 goals and 7 assists this year. Goalie Robert Andrade guided Ocean County to eight shutouts this year which is two more than their opponent in game one.
Preview Match 2 – Wehrum Stadium (Herkimer, NY) @ 1:30 pm
Herkimer (NY) #4 (18-1-1) vs. Bunker Hill #5 (MA) (15-2)
The NJCAA DIII leader in scoring (30) and total points (66) Luke Murphy will be leading the charge for the Generals. Herkimer’s record of 18-1-1 earned them the best winning percentage in the country. Their tie came against #2 ranked Genesee. Defensively Herkimer is led by goalkeeper Roandre Wollery who is 2nd in the nation with 11 shutouts.
Bunker Hill (MA) comes to the NJCAA DIII with a dangerous record where two of their losses were early in the season. Their goalies Kevin Mesa and Anass Richad have only given up one multi goal game all year. On the other hand their offense has been explosive with very decisive victories. The offense will present a challenge for defenses. Midfielder Kyle Davidson plus forwards Nelson Reyes and Keli Berdufi are going to be a handful. If there is any team in this tournament that likes to share the scoring, this is the team.
Preview Match 3 – Wehrum Stadium (Herkimer, NY) @ 4:00 pm
Genesee (NY) #2 (17-2-1) vs. Howard (MD) #7 (13-5-1)
Forward Charlie Livesey leads Genesee’s offensive attack with 57 total points on the year. Genesee is ranked in the top 10 nationally in every major offensive category. Goalkeeper David Ormiston recorded 12 shutouts this year which is the best in NJCAA DIII. Ormiston and Genesee’s defense have not allowed a goal in 6 straight games including postseason play.
Howard faces a tough opponent in Genesee. Steve and Francis Amankwah are a duo that will be tough to contain. The two can spread the field and serve as the #1 and #2 scorers for Howard. Like most other schools in the NJCAA DIII national championship, Howard is not shy when it comes to shots on goal and putting the ball in the net. Howard’s offense is more spread out and they are going to use depth to their advantage. They also rank 9th nationally in shutouts (7).
Preview Match 4 – Wehrum Stadium (Herkimer, NY) @ 6:30pm
Camden County (NJ) #3 (16-3) vs. Suffolk County (NY) #6 (11-7-2)
With a 16-3 overall record coming into the NJCAA DIII national tournament, Camden looks to continue their 9 game winning streak in hopes of a national championship. Freshman forward Leonardo Lima is carrying a lot of Camden’s workload. Lima has totaled 42 points on the year. Camden’s goalkeeper Joao Reis has not allowed more than two goals in a single game this season.
Suffolk lost to #5 Bunker Hill (MA) earlier in the year but the next day they beat #7 Howard (MD). Suffolk also beat current opponent #3 Camden County mid-season and looks to have a repeat performance against them. Forward Nicholas Reyes and Midfielder Kevin Quintazaca are a one-two punch for Suffolk. Both scorers present a personnel challenge for opponents.