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NJIT Captures First ASUN Tournament Title

Published: November 16, 2019

NEWARK, NJ--NJIT's Regsan Watkins, the Most Valuable Player of the ASUN Conference Tournament, scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute, leading the top-seeded Highlanders to its first-ever ASUN Conference Tournament title with a 2-1 victory over No. 2 FGCU Saturday evening at Lubetkin Field at Mal Simon Stadium.

With the win:
--NJIT posts the first-ever ASUN Conference Tournament title in any sport
--Advance to the NCAA Tournament (first time at the Division I level) and for the first time since 1977
--NJIT becomes the ninth No. 1 seed to win the title since the tournament went to the six-seeded format in 1998 and only the second in the last seven years.
--10 wins ties the Division I win-output (10 wins in 2012)
--Win streak extends to five
--Moves to 8-1-1 record in their last 10 matches

Watkins, the 5-foot-9 forward, scored a pair of game-winners in the tournament, also scoring the game-winner in the Highlanders 3-2 quarterfinal victory over Stetson.  He scored the go-ahead goal against FGCU in the 86th minute assisted by Andrew Nino, giving the Highlanders a 2-1 lead.  

Watkins has scored in the last three matches for the Highlanders, including a pair of goals in the 5-0 win over Jacksonville.

Nino, the Highlanders senior, raises his career mark to 17 assists, which is the NJIT Division I record.

ASUN Conference Freshman of the Year Alejandro Rabell tied up the match at 1-1 in the 70th minute, his sixth of the season, off a free kick rebound shot by junior Thomas Radon.

Freshman ASUN Goalkeeper of the Year made seven saves in the victory.

How It Happened
FGCU with a chance in the eighth minute on a shot by Miguel Perez, who nearly put the second-seeded Eagles ahead but a diving save by NJIT keeper Reisgys kept the match scoreless.

NJIT's Rabell blasted a shot in the 13th minute from the right side of the box but FGCU's keeper Connor Gavin made a diving save of his own.

With twelve seconds remaining in the first half, FGCU's Noah Bushey received a pass on the right touch line from Titouan Le Menec, striking the ball with his left foot into the upper left corner, giving the second-seeded Eagles a 1-0 lead, heading into the half.

NJIT with an early opportunity in the second half for NJIT by 2019 ASUN Conference Player of the Year Rene White in the 53rd minute on a close shot inside the box with a chance to tie the match but FGCU keeper denied the Highlanders.

In the 65th minute of action, a direct kick by FGCU's Kareem Riley sailed high and two minutes later NJIT's White fired a low shot saved again by Gavin.

ASUN Men's Soccer All-Tournament Team
Regsan Watkins, NJIT (MVP)
Shak Adams, FGCU
Thomas Delplace, FGCU
O'Vonte Mullings, FGCU​​​​​​​
Ivan Rosales, FGCU​​​​​​​
Noah Gulden, Lipscomb
Ben Locke, Lipscomb
Alejandro Rabell, NJIT​​​​​​​
Thomas Radon, NJIT​​​​​​​
Rene White, NJIT​​​​​​​
Sebastian Chalbaud, Stetson

NCAA Selection Show
The NCAA selection show will air on Monday, November 18 at 1pm on www.NCAA.com.

 
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