The Seton Hall men’s soccer team reigned supreme over Sacred Heart, shutting out its opponent 3-0 in a Labor Day evening contest at Owen T. Carroll Field.
The Pirates got off to a strong start early in the first half when the Pioneers granted them a chance off a corner kick. In the midst of the commotion in front of the Sacred Heart goal, Jonathan Jimenez received the ball from an Andres Arcila corner and crossed it to Mario Prata. After a brief scramble, Prata booted the ball through the crowd and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
With just over six minutes remaining in the first half, the Pirates tallied another goal to put them even further ahead of the Pioneers. This time, Seton Hall midfielder Gabriel Viola caught the Sacred Heart defense off guard when he jumped up from midfield to forward on a fast break alongside Prata. Prata fed Viola the ball, who chipped it by the Pioneer defender before rifling it past goalie Robert Strain, extending the lead to 2-0.
“I saw my teammate free, Marco [Neves], I found him; then Mario [Prata] passed to me through the defenders, and God blessed me with the opportunity to score my first goal here,” Viola said.
The second half played out with a different tune than the first, with the Pirates having to at times hold off a replenished and attacking Pioneer offense. In goal for the Hall, Elliot Munford kept his cool throughout the game, even when a Pioneer forward came within inches of a goal halfway through the second, with his effort ringing off the crossbar.
With just under 20 minutes left to play, Jimenez showed what he is capable of, recording an impressive insurance goal to give the Pirates even more breathing room. As he ran up the left side, Jimenez received a crisp through ball from Viola, sliced through the defense and blasted a rocket of a shot inside the far corner for the game’s final goal.
“This game is in the past now, it’s over with,” Jimenez said, with the forward’s focus immediately shifting to a road contest against Garden State foe Princeton.
“It’s a big game against Princeton, and hopefully we can come out with a victory over there,” Jimenez said. “We go hard, and we keep raising the bar.”
The Pirates will look to keep raising that bar when they face off against the Tigers on Thursday at Roberts Stadium in Princeton, N.J.
Bob Towey can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @BobTowey5.