NEWARK, NJ—NJIT will make its first ASUN Men’s Soccer Championship appearance as the No. 4 seed in the tournament, facing No. 5 Jacksonville on Friday, November 4 in the ASUN quarterfinals on the campus of University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida.
North Florida, which secured the ASUN Conference Men’s Soccer regular season title for the second straight season, will be the host for the No. 4 vs. No. 5 quarterfinal match and semifinal round. The winner of NJIT/Jacksonville will play No. 1 North Florida on Sunday, November 6. Official match times will be released on Monday.
NJIT will make its first ASUN Men's Soccer Championship appearance in the teams’ first season as a member of the school's new multi-sport conference, the ASUN Conference. Men's soccer, which played the previous two seasons as an associate member of the Sun Belt Conference, is competing in the ASUN a year later than the other NJIT programs, which began play in the ASUN in 2015-16.
The Highlanders, under the leadership of first-year head coach Fernando Barboto, reached eight wins, marking the second-highest win total, since competing as an NCAA Division I program (first season 2004). The record stands at 10 set in 2012.
The six one-goal wins and seven shutouts this season (most in the ASUN and tied for third most in the NCAA) are the most in a single season in NJIT's Division I era.
The draw against No. 22 North Florida, was the fourth of the season for the Highlanders, marking the third-straight season, the Highlanders have recorded four draws. In the DI era for NJIT (first season 2004), the team record is five set in 2005.
The Highlanders picked up 10 points on three wins and a draw in league play, while boasting one of the conference's toughest defenses.
ASUN Conference Wins/Draw
9/21 – at Jacksonville, W, 1-0
10/1 – vs. Stetson, W, 1-0
10/15 – at USC Upstate – W, 1-0
10/26 – at No. 22 UNF – T, 1-1 (2OT)
NJIT won the first-ever men’s soccer ASUN Conference match, 1-0, at Jacksonville on September 21 in Jacksonville. Freshman Rene White scored the only goal of the match.
Freshman goalkeeper Victor Pujades has started all but one match this season and is second in the league with 50 saves. His 1.06 goals against average ranks second in the ASUN and .746 save percentage is third. Pujades sits atop the NJIT single-season Division I era record with seven shutouts on the season.
NJIT junior co-captain Mamadou Guirassy leads the team in goals (7), points (17) and ranks tied for first with three other Highlanders in assists with (3). His team-leading seven goals, ties the NJIT DI single season record and his three assists in a single match is another record.
Guirassy scored a goal and added three assists in the Highlanders 4-1 victory over St. Bonaventure, totaling five points, which is tied for second in the NJIT D1 era.
Guirassy, who is ranked tied for fourth in the ASUN in goals, scored the lone goal in the Highlanders 1-0 victories against FDU, USC Upstate and Stetson. Guirassy has scored a goal in four of his last seven matches and ranks second in the conference in total shots (51).
Guirassy and White have combined for 13 of the 24 NJIT goals.