EAST BOSTON, Mass. – The Norwich University men's soccer team was superior in almost every statistical category except the one that ultimate decides the outcome, the score, as the Cadets suffered a heart-breaking 1-0 loss in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action Wednesday night at James A. Sartor Stadium.
Norwich (5-2-1, 1-1-1 GNAC) seemingly controlled the flow of the game as witnessed by a decisive 32-7 edge in shots, including a 22-4 advantage in the final stanza. The Cadets recorded seven corner kicks to four for Suffolk and forced the Suffolk keeper to make double-digit saves. The Cadets were even more disciplined recording fewer fouls in the game.
Suffolk (2-3-1, 1-2-0 GNAC), however, demonstrated a willingness to play team defense. In addition to several key stops made by the Rams' goalie, the defense chipped in with a whopping 11 blocked shots in the game.
Norwich saw its best chance come with just over 10 minutes remaining in regulation. On a near breakaway, the GNAC's leading scorer, freshman forward Joseph Thongsythavong (Salem, Mass.), beat the Rams' defender for a one-on-one chance with Suffolk's keeper. Thongsythavong's high kick met the tip of Lopez' glove as the senior made a leaping, punch save to keep Norwich off the board.
The Rams cashed in on one of their limited looks offensively immediately after Norwich's missed opportunity as Sunjoon Tenorio converted a pass from Emilio Tenacio for the game's only tally.
The Cadets feverishly attempted to strike the equalizer in the closing moments of the game as they registered four shots on goal before the final horn sounded. The best chance came in a cluster in front of Suffolk's goal when sophomore midfielder Amerle Nemeye (Burlington, Vt.) had an opening, but once again the Suffolk keeper was there.
Senior keeper Steven Lopez (East Boston, Mass.) recorded the 12-save clean sheet for the Rams. Freshman keeper Robert Wagenseller (Poway, Calif.) stopped three shots in net for the Cadets in the loss.
Norwich continues on the road for its next GNAC contest on Saturday when the Cadets travel to Anna Maria for a match starting at 1 p.m.