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RVCC shuts out Middlesex

North Branch, NJ -- RVCC Men's Soccer continued their strong home form shutting out Middlesex CC, 2-0, behind 2nd half goals from Erick Hernandez and Geovanny Barboza

      Middlesex got off to a fast start stringing together several passes and not allowing the hosts a single pass attempt in the game's opening minutes.  Over the first 25 minutes, the Blue Colts dominated the midfield and repeatedly stretched RVCC's back line with a barrage of long passes into the defensive third.  Tony Chaparro and Dave Werner had to clear balls off the goal line with Ryan Hamblin beaten.  The Lions bent but didn't break keeping Middlesex at bay while the attack finally began to find their feet.  Geo Barboza shot right at the 'keeper and Anthony Hernandez spurned a good scoring chance as RVCC fought their way into the game.  Middlesex defenders were also forced to scramble, clearing two goal-bound balls off their line after shots got past Andrew Leibowitz.  The game headed to half time deadlocked at 0-0 with RVCC holding a 10-4 advantage in shots.

      In the second half, the attack finally began to click.  Erick Hernandez scored his team-leading 5th goal of the year in the 49th minute off a great pass by Tristan Gadson-Rigby.  Gadson-Rigby raced into the attack from his right back spot, his strong run taking him past 2 defenders before slotting a ball to Hernandez who cut to his left and finished with a well-placed shot just inside the far post.  Rafael Roman almost doubled the lead, hammering a shot off the right post which left Middlesex's goalkeeper with no chance after being played in by a Jon Fischer pass.  Middlesex pushed forward looking for an equalizer but their counterattacks were snuffed out by Tony Chaparro and Andrew WilliamsRyan Lauder, a half-time sub for an injured Ryan Hamblin, claimed a pair of crosses to end further threats on goal. 

      RVCC dictated the pace of the game for much of the half, midfielders Raul Otayza, Jason Zuloeta and Facundo Galante and repeatedly forced turnovers with aggressive defending as they began to dominate the midfield.  After several blocked shots and missed chances, Geovanny Barboza connected with a Facundo Galante pass and ripped a left-footed shot off the inside of the near post to put RVCC ahead 2-0 in the 76th minute.  Late in the match, Andrew Williams blasted a free kick over the bar from 19 yards out, his powerful shot screaming wide of the upper corner.  The Golden Lions racked up a 20-8 advantage in shots, goalkeepers Ryan Lauder and Ryan Hamblin shared the shutout.
      With the Golden Lions in the middle of the busiest stretch of the season, the pieces are starting to come together at the right time.  RVCC earned their first conference win since August 2013 and extended their home record to 2-1-1.  It was their first result in the last 4 matches which didn't go to overtime.  Gadson-Rigby, Galante and Barboza all earned their first college points.  The Golden Lions have gone 2-1-2 in their last five games to take their record to 2-4-2 overall.  With the loss, Middlesex drops to 3-7-1.

      Raritan Valley (2-4-2) travels to Rowan College at Gloucester County on October 4th for a 3:30 kickoff with the Roadrunners in Sewell.