DURHAM, N.H. – Freshman Gunnar Ericsson (Atkinson, N.H.) scored his first career goal as the University of New Hampshire men's soccer team blanked Binghamton University, 2-0, Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Lukas Goerigk (Berlin, Germany) also scored in the effort.
The win bumps the Wildcats to 11-5-0 on the year and to 4-2-0 in America East Conference play while the Bearcats fall to 3-9-5 overall and to 1-2-3 in conference action.
Prior to the game, a pregame ceremony took place to honor the six seniors graduating this year. Those honored were Cody Cormier (Bangor, Maine), Byron Greenwood (Greenland, N.H.), Robert Palumbo (Kingston, N.H.), David Schlatter (Marlton, N.J.), Jeffrey Turner (Blandon, Pa.) and Ugochukwu Uche (Ann Arbor, Mich.).
New Hampshire took an early 1-0 lead in the 13th minute of the game as Ericsson scored the first goal of his career and the eventual game winner. Uche played a laser pass to Ericsson who in turn ripped a shot from just outside the box that ricocheted off the bottom of the cross bar and bounced over the goal line.
Just four minutes later, the Wildcats increased their lead as Goerigk blasted a penalty kick to the right side of the net. A Binghamton defender fouled Uche in the box to award the kick. Goerigk took a stutter step and faked Bearcat goalkeeper Stefano Frantellizzi to the left as he put it home on the right.
New Hampshire kept the offensive pressure coming with four consecutive shots, all of which were saved by Frantellizzi. Steven Palumbo (Kingston, N.H.) struck two of those shots while Andrew Chaput (Manchester, N.H.) and Robert Palumbo took the other two. The Wildcats continued to dominate the pace of play as Binghamton was unable to take another shot in the first half. Through the first 45 minutes of play, the Wildcats held a 2-0 advantage.
A goalkeeper battle ensued in the second half as UNH goalie Giovani Riello (Sao Paulo, Brazil) made his first of three saves in the game in the 46th minute of play on a shot by Ben Nicholson of Binghamton. His next save came on an attempt by Steven Celeste in the 57th minute. Frantellizzi made a pair of saves in between to keep Binghamton's deficit at two. Riello made his third save of the game in the 78th minute to preserve the shutout. With two halves in the books, the Wildcats prevailed victorious over the Bearcats, 2-0.
Riello's three save shutout earned him a record of 4-2-0 on the year and his third shutout. Frantellizzi made 10 saves on the 12 shots he faced, receiving the loss in net for Binghamton. His record falls to 3-9-5 on the year. The Wildcats outshot the Bearcats, 18-8.
New Hampshire will play its final regular season game on Wednesday, Nov. 6 as they play host to Vermont. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.