Lenny Armuth, Drew men's coach, gets win No. 300
From Drew University Atletics (see original release)
|Lenny Armuth gained his 300th career victory in Drew's season opener.
Photo: Drew University Athletics
MADISON, N.J. (Sept. 1, 2015) – After an all-out Opening Night battle, the Drew University men's soccer team edged Swarthmore College, 1-0 on Tuesday evening, earning head coach Lenny Armuth his 300th career victory at Drew.
Following an offseason-long cliffhanger stuck on No. 299, the Rangers' veteran headman didn't want to waste any time.
"I'm very excited to get it over with after sitting on it all winter and summer," said Armuth, who was greeted by a horde of family, friends and co-workers past and present after the game. "Now it's time to get back to soccer. It was awesome, but it's over with and done. Time for Saturday's game."
Armuth was also give an early shower, courtesy of his Rangers team and a bucket of ice water leftover from a hot and humid late-summer evening.
Sophomore midfielder Eduardo Martinez scored the lone goal of the contest off an assist by junior Kevin Baroz in the 42nd minute. Junior goalkeeper John Marques, competing in his second career start, notched his second career shutout by turning in six impressive saves in the effort.
"Our defense controlled everyone," Marques said. "With a defense as tough as this, the saves come easy. Its reactionary.
"Playing for Coach Armuth is an honor," Marques added. "He's one of the most respected coaches in college soccer. It was special to be a part of getting him his 300th win."
The first goal of the 2015 season came off the head of Martinez in the 42nd minute. Baroz sent a soaring cross that eclipsed everyone gathered in the box. When the ball finally settled, Martinez was the only one there and sent a strong line drive header into the left netting to gave Drew the lead.
As the first half clicked down to the final 10 minutes, the Rangers used a series of single touches to open up junior midfielder Joe Sollod on the right post. He snapped off a quick shot that eluded the goalie but clanged off the post, far right.
Senior defender Daniel Giraldo's defense was tenacious as he used his entire body to smother potential chances. He mixed in sliding tackles as well as lunging steals. In the first half, nothing came easy for Swarthmore. The Rangers played aggressive, intense defense and forced the ball to their side of the half line.
Drew entered the half leading 1-0.
In the 63rd minute, Swarthmore had their best run at the net all game. After a deep lead pass down the middle that had numerous Rangers asking for an offsides went through clean, Marques sprinted and slid, cutting off the would-be scoring try. Marques, frantically backpedaling, got back into position to deflect the rebound shot up and over the bar.
Just two minutes later, Marques used a knee slide to absorb a close-range effort from the Garnet attacker. Marques' athleticism was as mystifying as it was effective. He leapt for anything-goes jump balls and took risks on plays where he could've gotten back in net.
The Garnet packed Drew's defensive zone in the final third of the game, settling in for long periods of time. Drew's defense, as well as a few spectacular saves from Marques, kept the Garnet at bay until the final whistle for an Opening Day shutout.
Drew returns to action at the annual Fall Festival Tournament, which begins on Saturday, Sept. 5th with a game against Roanoke College at 6:00 p.m. at Ranger Stadium.