PISCATAWAY, NJ – The freshmen duo of Zach Simi (East Brunswick, NJ) and Tommy Gray (Middletown, NJ) connected on a goal in the 28th minute to lead Rutgers to a 1-0 victory in the nightcap of the Philips/adidas Rutgers Soccer Classic Friday night before 1,414 fans at Yurcak Field. Rutgers improves to 4-3-2 with the victory, while College of Charleston falls to 5-4-0.
Gray crossed the ball to Simi, situated in the center of the box, who punched in his first career goal from 14 yards out. Simi, who is playing in just his fourth collegiate game, has four points in his last two contests after registering a pair of assists in the victory over No. 3 Michigan last Friday.
“I thought we played well tonight,” said Rutgers head coach Bob Reasso. “We have a young team and they are maturing fast. We controlled possession and were aggressive offensively.”
Rutgers dominated possession, outshooting the Cougars, 17-4, while holding a 7-0 edge in corner kicks. Goalkeeper Lubos Ancin (Burlington, NJ) made two saves for RU, while College of Charleston’s Keith Wiggans registered seven saves for the Cougars.
College of Charleston nearly scored the game’s first goal, but Scott Milroth’s shot ricocheted off the far post and out of the goal where Ancin corralled it.
In the first match of the night, St. John’s defeated Hartwick, 4-1. SJU’s Andrei Gotsmanov scored three goals for the Red Storm, and Simone Salinno added a fourth. Hartwick’s Craig Potter had the Hawks’ lone goal on a penalty kick.
The Philips/adidas Rutgers Soccer Classic will conclude on Sunday when St. John’s takes on College of Charleston at 1:30 p.m. before Rutgers meets Hartwick at 4 p.m.