The Berkeley College New Jersey men's soccer team started its season off on a winning note Friday evening, as the Knights defeated the Crusaders of Christendom College by a score of 3-1 in a match played in Front Royal, Virginia. For a team with aspirations of getting back to the USCAA Division II National Tournament, it was a very positive beginning.
"Our student-athletes have been so excited for this season, and to grab a victory right out of the gate is very encouraging for us," Head Coach Bruno Ferreira said of his team. "We'll enjoy this win for a short time only, though, as we have another game coming up in less than 24 hours against a Washington Adventist team that we always seem to play close games against."
The offensive star of the contest for Berkeley College was junior forward Wender Lima. The Kearny, NJ native – who appeared in all of five games a season ago while notching just one goal – doubled that total against the Crusaders. His first goal of the evening was an unassisted tally at the 24:16 mark. That gave the Knights a 1-0 advantage. 7:35 later, first-year Knight Ichiaka Doumbia collected a pass from Kevin Soares before burying the ball into the net to increase Berkeley's lead to 2-0 (31:51).
The score remained 2-0 in favor of the Knights until the 69:39 mark, when Lima would score another unassisted goal. That put Berkeley College ahead by a score of 3-0, and that juncture of the contest – Head Coach Bruno Ferreira would also take out his starting goaltender Robert Parker in favor of Wily Peralta. Parker faced just two shots on the evening – saving both – and not allowing a goal.
Christendom College would score a late goal – as Pete Day would slip one past Peralta to bring his team to within two goals with 9:13 remaining in the match. The Knights' defense would tighten up after that, as Berkeley would hold off the Crusaders to earn the two-goal victory.
The Knights return to the pitch on Saturday evening, as Berkeley College will take on Washington Adventist University at the Shock's Turf Field in Takoma Park, Maryland. Start-time for that contest is set for 8:00pm.