MANSFIELD, Conn. – Sophomore forward Patrick Agyemang (East Hartford) recorded his third career multi-goal with his first career hat trick and the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team opened its season with three straight shutout wins for the second time in the past five years with a 3-0 non-conference win over Lasell University Saturday afternoon at Rick McCarthy Field.
Agyemang, last year's leading scorer with nine goals and 21 points, gave the Warriors a quick 1-0 lead in the seventh minute, and after the standout goaltending of senior Chris Tran (Nantucket, MA) kept it a one-goal game for the next 50 minutes, the 6-foot-4 inch, 180-pounder finally broke loose again 12 minutes into the second half, then closed it out with 15 minutes remaining with his fourth goal of the season.
Agyemang's first two goals were nearly identical, when he carried up the left wing and placed a low shot perfectly inside the right post. Sophomore midfielder Will Toomey (Willington) assisted on the first and last goals, junior defender Brendan D'Arcy (West Hartford) was credited with his second career assist on the first goal of the second half, while senior forward Griffin Luczek (Lee, NH) also picked up a helper on the final goal.
With its third straight shutout over Lasell (0-4-0) in the three-game series, Eastern (3-0-0) outshot the Lasers, 33-4 -- landing 16 on Tran – and collected 14 of the game's 16 corner kicks. Tran made countless point-blank saves to keep the guests within striking distance. Agyemang and Luczek combined for 12 shots, putting ten on cage.
At left: Head Coach Greg DeVito was presented with a commemorative ball recognizing his 154th coaching win Aug. 31 that made him the program's all-time winningest coach. (Photo by Ryan Coppinger)
In a span of three minutes in the first half, Tran kept the margin at one goal with four saves off prime attempts by four different players, the keeper robbing Luczek, Agyemang (on a header off a corner kick), junior forward Danny Shayler (Avon) on a breakaway and on a blast from junior defender David Noel (Armonk, NY) which he deflected wide with an outstretched dive.
Junior keeper Kyle Boutot (Tolland) recorded his second full shutout in three career starts (all coming this year), needing only three stops to keep his goals-against average at 0.00 in 236 minutes.
Behind freshman keeper Ryan Murphy, Eastern opened the 2015 season with four straight shutouts on the way to a 14-4-1 record. The wins came against Babson College, Muhlenberg College, Wesleyan University and Ramapo College.
Eastern visits Trinity College in a non-conference match Tuesday at 7 p.m.