PISCATAWAY, NJ – Senior Josh Gros (Mechanicsburg, PA) lead a strong offensive performance, scoring three goals in the No. 11 Rutgers men’s soccer team’s 4-1 victory over Providence in the season’s home opener Saturday night at Yurcak Field.
With Rutgers leading, 1-0, in the 31st minute, Gros took a pass from Gustavo Mora (Asuncion, Paraguay) and fired a shot from inside the box which hit the back of the net for his first tally of the match. Just 12 minutes later, Rutgers pushed past the Friar defense with Gros the beneficiary of a beautifully placed through-ball from Brian Johnson (Marshfield, MA), who entered the game just seconds before. Gros beat Providence goal keeper Jeff Newman for his second goal, opening a 3-0 lead as the teams headed into the halftime break.
Gros registered his third score of the match in the 66th minute, taking a Wes Kirk (Bloomfield, NJ) feed and scoring from the top of the box for his third tally of the match and fourth of the season.
Rutgers jumped out to an early, 1-0, lead in the match as junior Ricardo Arenas (Guatemala City) took a feed from Gros at the top of the box and drilled it past the diving Friar keeper for the opening score of the match. The forward, who returned to Rutgers late Friday night after playing two games for his U-23 national team during the week, showed no signs of fatigue, scoring his second goal of the season in just his second match with Rutgers.
“We had a great effort from our guys tonight,” said Rutgers head coach Bob Reasso. “Josh [Gros] played phenomenal for us and Todd [Moser] looked brilliant in his first game back at Yurcak Field.”
Providence scored its lone goal of the match on a penalty kick at the 66:11 mark. The Friars’ Eoin Lynch converted the kick to prevent the shutout.
Action became spirited in the second half as both teams played aggressively. Three yellow cards were issued in the match, including two at the 54:40 mark, following a confrontation between Mora and Providence’s Jonathan Rhode.
RU goalkeeper Scott Conway (Aston, PA) recorded four saves, before being relieved by freshman Lubos Ancin (Burlington, NJ) in the 68th minute. Newman made four stops for Providence, playing the entire match. RU outshot the Friars 15-8.
Gros’ three goals tonight give him a total of nine goals in his last six games, dating back to October 30, 2002. The four goals scored tonight by Rutgers is the Scarlet Knights’ most since they registered seven goals in a 7-1 won over Princeton on October 30, 2002.
Rutgers will next face St. John’s, on Wednesday, Sept. 10, traveling to Belson Stadium in Jamaica, NY, for an 8 p.m. match.
Providence (1-2) 0 0 -- 1 Rutgers (2-0) 3 1 -- 4 SCORING: R, Ricardo Arenas (Josh Gros) 15:35; R, Josh Gros (Gustavo Mora) 30:35; R, Josh Gros (Brian Johnson) 42:37; R, Josh Gros (Wes Kirk) 65:26; PC Eoin Lynch (penalty kick) 66:11. SAVES: PC, Jeff Newman 4 (90:00): R, Scott Conway 4 (67:30), Lubos Ancin 0 (22:30)