Sophomore forward Henry Bonilla (Fairless Hills, Pa./The Pennington School) and freshman forward Gavin Coutts (Mendham, N.J./West Morris Mendham) scored goals as The University of Scranton men’s soccer team handled Juniata, 2-0, on Saturday afternoon at Fitzpatrick Field.
The victory keeps the Royals (8-2-1, 2-0 Landmark) in an early first-place tie in the conference while Juniata (2-10, 0-3) remained winless in Landmark play.
After a mostly uneventful opening 25 minutes, the Royals nearly broke through in the 29th minute when a shot by sophomore defender Pat Codispoti (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Chaminade) hit the crossbar came straight down, where the Juniata keeper was able to clean up the rebound.
Eight minutes later, Scranton got the goal it was looking when Bonilla was able to get a head on a long throw in by sophomore midfielder Tim DiBisceglie (Mine Hill, N.J./Gill St. Bernard’s), and the shot found the right corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.
In the 51st minute, the Royals nearly broke through when senior midfielder Tom O’Connor (Great River, N.Y./St. John the Baptist) got free on the right wing, but his shot from 20 yards out clanged off the right post and caromed away.
Coutts provided the insurance goal in the 79th minute after some nice offensive build-up by the Royals. Sophomore midfielder James Caulfield (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley) took a pass on the left wing and worked the ball deep into the corner, where he threaded a pass across the box to Coutts, who was able to redirect a shot past the Juniata keeper for the two-goal lead.
Bonilla’s goal was his second of the season and third of his career, while Coutts picked up his second of the season. DiBisceglie tallied his second assist of the year and third of his career, and Caulfield’s assist was his first in a Royals uniform.
Sophomore goalkeeper Eric Hintz (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) made two saves for his fifth shutout of the season and 10th of his career.
Scranton held a 19-5 advantage in shots, including 7-0 in the first half. The Royals also had nine corner kicks compared to four for the Eagles.
The Royals are back in action on Wednesday, Oct. 8, when they host Drew University in a Landmark Conference match at 7 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Field.