ANNAPOLIS, MD—Senior Mamadou Guirassy's goal in the 26th minute and sophomore keeper Victor Pujades late saves were the difference in the Highlanders 1-0 shutout victory at Navy Monday evening.
With Monday's result, the Highlanders begin its second straight season 2-0 (NJIT started the 2016 season 2-0 with wins against FDU and Manhattan).
The 1-0 win marks the second shutout of the season for the Highlanders and Pujades, who needed two big saves for his second straight clean sheet of the season. Navy's Mac Burke made five saves in goal in the loss.
The Midshipmen drop to 0-2 on the young season.
The games only score came at 25:54 when Guirassy received a long pass from junior Furkan Kokcu, striking on a low, hard shot to the far post, giving NJIT a 1-0 lead. The goal for Guirassy was his first of the season.
Both teams got off 12 shots apiece and the home team held a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
NJIT had a scoring opportunity in the 17th minute in the short corner, as sophomore Juan Zapata chipped the ball into the back of the box. NJIT's Hugo Espuela headed the ball backwards to senior Danny Cordeiro, who blasted a point blank shot but Navy's keeper was in position for the save.
Newcomer Thomas Radon's shot in the 23rd minute nearly put the Highlanders on the board with a flush shot that rattled the crossbar.
Navy had two opportunities in the 29th and 31st minute by Daniel Zaremba and Wyatt Millard but both shots sailed high.
The Highlanders nearly doubled its lead as sophomore Andrew Nino bended a free kick to the far post, finding 6-foo5- senior Jonathan Onyeaka but Onyeaka's header went inches over the cross bar in the 43rd minute.
To open the second half, NJIT continued to pressure Navy, as Guirassy dropped a pass between two Navy defenders to Radon who nearly scored.
Nino took another free kick in the 49th minute for NJIT but a diving save by Burke pushed it for a Highlander corner kick.
In the 50th minute, Cordeiro forced Navy's Burke to make another diving save this time to his right to hold off the Highlanders.
Navy got off a pair of shots that went wide in the 64th and 65th minute by Aubrey Jones and Ben Nicholas.
Midfielder Jarvian Wigfall had an opportunity in the 75th minute for Navy after he picked up a deflection and carried the ball over midfield but his shot went just wide.
Pujades made his first save of the night in the 82nd minute as Navy looked for the equalizer on a shot by Andrew Hopkins.
Navy's Wigfall created just enough space to get a shot off in the 87th minute from the top of the box with three minute remaining but NJIT's Pujades made a diving save with a long stretch across his body to keep the Highlanders in front, 1-0.
NJIT will head south for Labor Day weekend and visit Florida International in Miami and two days later play at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton. NJIT will face FIU, who notched 10 wins in 2016, on September 1 at FIU Soccer Stadium under the lights at 7pm. This will mark the second all-time meeting between the two teams; with the first meeting in 2004.
On September 3, NJIT will take on FAU at 2:30pm. The Owls own a 3-0 all-time series record and last met in 2007 when the two teams competed in the Atlantic Soccer Conference.