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.