BUFFALO, NY – Clement Bourret (Orleans, France/Lycee Jean Giraudoux) and Pablo DeCastro (Madrid, Spain/Universidad Francisco de Vittoria) each scored as the Rider University men’s soccer team clinched a MAAC Championship berth with a 2-0 win at Canisius Wednesday evening. With the win, the Broncs (7-9-1, 6-4-0 MAAC) will face either third-seeded Marist or fourth-seeded Iona on the road in the MAAC Quarterfinals Sunday. If Manhattan defeats Fairfield at 7 p.m. tonight, the Broncs would be the sixth seed and face Marist. If the Jaspers lose or tie at Fairfield, which needs three points to earn the top seed, Manhattan would be eliminated and Saint Peter’s would take the sixth seed.
Following a scoreless first half, the Broncs struck for what proved to be the game winner, scoring in the 47th minute for the second-straight game. Bourret finished an Elliott Otmani (La Ciotat, France/Bonaparte) assist for the tally. With just over three minutes left in regulation, Otmani was taken down in the box for a penalty kick that DeCastro finished.
Quotes and Notes
“It was a good win. And we went against a strong wind in the first half that died down in the second half when we had it at our backs. Clembo got us on the board. He hit a rocket into the corner. It was good for him because he’s such a competitor and he’s battled with injuries the last two years.”
“It was a good win on a hard trip in a hard season. But I think we’re starting to come into our own now. I thought we played a really good second half. In the first half, we dodged a few bullets going against the wind. It was a good win, so now we just get ready for Sunday.” – Rider Head Coach Charlie Inverso
- Rider extended its lead in the all-time series with Canisius to 13-10-2, including the last two. The Broncs had not defeated the Griffs in four meetings from 2014-17 until a convincing 3-1 win in the 2017 MAAC Semifinals.
- The clean sheet was the Broncs’ second-straight and fourth of the year. Pablo Gatinois (Madrid, Spain/Lycee Francais de Madrid [Oregon State]) made four saves to secure the shutout. Gatinois has been in net for all four Broncs’ clean sheets this year.
Broncs By The Numbers
- Otmani’s assist, his eighth of the year, was the 20th of his career, moving him into a tie with All-American Bobby Smith ’72 for eighth all-time in program history. His next assist would move him into a tie for sixth with another All-American, Christian Flath, as well as Neil Charles. Otmani’s next goal would also make him just the third Bronc to score 30 goals and distribute 20 assists, joining Smith (46 goals, 20 assists) and Craig Wicken (49 goals, 24 assists).
- Fairly appropriately, DeCastro tied Otmani for the team lead with his sixth goal. Otmani scored his sixth last time out at Siena on a PK that DeCastro drew. This time, DeCastro finished the chance awarded after Otmani was taken down inside the box.
- Otmani has registered a point in all six Rider wins in MAAC play. He has a goal in four and assists in two more.
- Bourret’s goal was his second of the season and the 11th of his career.
- Rider took a 15-13 edge in shots, including an 8-4 advantage in shots on goal.
- Rider took five corner kicks to the Griffs’ three.