PISCATAWAY, N.J. (August 24, 2012) – Rutgers freshman defender Mitchell Taintor (Storrs, Conn.) put the Scarlet Knights ahead 1-0 with his first career goal as men’s soccer (1-0) defeated Fordham 1-0 (0-1) on Friday night at Yurcak.
Rutgers set the tempo in the opening minutes, applying early pressure on the Fordham defense to break the match open in the first five minutes. The Scarlet Knights were awarded a free kick 25 yards out with freshman midfielder Mael Corboz (Green Brook, N.J.) approaching the potential scoring opportunity. He then fired a shot on goal which was saved by Fordham goalkeeper Sean Brailey. Taintor responded by pouncing on the rebound and buried it in the back of the net for his first career goal in his collegiate debut.
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Kevin McMullen (Blackwood, N.J.) kept the Scarlet Knights in the driver seat with a brilliant exchange between the pipes. A collision between McMullen and Kalle Sotka as he came off his line to challenge a ball resulted in a foul inside the box and a penalty kick for the Rams.
McMullen stood tall as Sotka took the PK, making a diving save to his right. The deflected shot landed at the feet of Nathaniel Bekoe who fired back another shot that McMullen saved to preserve the 1-0 lead.
After being held without a shot in the first half, Fordham rallied and turned the tables matching the Scarlet Knights with five second-half shots, putting four on goal. The Rams continued to threaten throughout with several late scoring opportunities, including a goal in the 81st minute that was overturned due to an offside call.
Despite the increased pressure from Fordham, Rutgers remained firm, holding on for the eventual 1-0 victory. McMullen earned the win and his first shutout of the season, making four saves on the night, all in the second half.
The Scarlet Knights will return to action on Friday, Aug. 31 when they travel to Omaha, Neb. for the Ameritas Classic. Rutgers will face SIU-Edwardsville in the opening game and host Creighton on Sunday, Sept. 2.
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