Samaroo, DeMello lead Saints men's soccer team to 2-0 win over Skidmore
Freshman Jamal Samaroo scored his first collegiate goal just 58 seconds into the second half as St. Lawrence University opened the defense of its Liberty League soccer title with a 2-0 win over Skidmore in the Saints' league opener on Archie MacAllaster Field Saturday afternoon.
Playing in front of a Family Weekend crowd of nearly 700, the Saints displayed the kind of ball control and domination which has fueled a 7-0-0 start to the regular season and the top spot in the NCAA Division III national poll. SLU outshot Skidmore 28-4 overall and the Thoroughbreds did not get a shot on goal until just over 22 minutes were left in regulation. Senior goaltender Brian Abernethy made just the one save for his fifth shutout of the season.While the Saints created a number of outstanding scoring chances in the first half, Skidmore keeper Nick Peterson came up with several big saves, including a knockdown of Andrew Bednarsky's rocket midway through the half, to keep it scoreless through the first 45 minutes.
Samaroo fixed that right after the second half kickoff. The Saints had a restart following a Skidmore foul at the midpoint of the attacking zone and junior midfielder Alex Laird redirected the ball just inside the 18 yard line from the right side across to Samaroo, who was all alone and buried a shot inside the left post at 45:58 for the 1-0 lead.
Junior Sam DeMello gave the Saints an insurance goal as Mike Manfredi sent the ball from the right side to Bednarsky at the right middle of the penalty area and Bednarsky's pass sent DeMello in alone for his sixth goal of the year and the 2-0 lead at the 52:55 mark.
Saint coach Bob Durocher was again able to go deep into his bench as the Saints controlled play virtually from start to finish.
"Skidmore always gives us a tough game and today was no different," said Durocher. "They play hard, but we were able to possess the ball and finally finished off a couple of plays in the second half. Scoring goals is going to be a problem for us with a couple of key guys out for the season, but if we can keep playing the way we have defensively and controlling the ball, hopefully the scoring will come."
The Saints will take on Ithaca in Ithaca on Sunday before embarking on a streak of five straight league games.