Blue Hens Roll Through Season Opener With 3-0 Win Over Massachusetts
August 26, 2011
Game Photo Courtesy of Mark Jordan
NEWARK, Del. -- Behind a pair of goals from senior forward Evans Frimpong, currently ranked 91st on TopDrawerSoccer.com's Top 100 Players list, the University of Delaware picked up a 3-0 season-opening win over the University of Massachusetts on Friday afternoon at Delaware Mini-Stadium.
“To get out early today was very important, particularly on this field, which we think is conducive to good soccer, which we like to play,” said Delaware’s sixth-year head coach Ian Hennessy. “That goal (Frimpong’s first) helped to relax a lot of the nerves that we may have had before.”
The game was the first time the men's soccer team competed on the new field at Delaware Mini-Stadium, which was resurfaced with Bermuda grass this summer, replacing the Rye-Fuscue mix.
The 3-0 final was Delaware’s largest margin of victory since beating Georgia State 4-1 on Nov. 3, 2009. It was also the biggest shutout victory since defeating the University of Maine 6-0 on Oct. 26, 2001. That game was also played in Newark.
Frimpong (at right), who was named to the Colonial Athletic Association Pre-season team, set a new career-high with his pair of goals, while also setting a career-high points in a game mark with four.
Delaware (1-0-0) got its third goal from Chas Wilson, who tallied his first career goal in only his third game player for Delaware.
The Hens spread their assists out, getting one each from Roberto Gimenez, Vincent Mediate, and Kyle Ellis.
Blue Hen goalkeeper Brandon Paul kept his regular season shutout streak alive, extending it to four full games. Paul has not allowed a regular season goal since the 77th minute against James Madison on Oct. 10, 2010. Paul was challenged by one Massachusetts shot the entire game and turned it aside to preserve the shutout. He has now played 419 minutes without allowing a goal.
It did not take long for Delaware to flex its offensive prowess with Frimpong finding the back of the net just 8:13 into the game. He connected on a pass from Gimenez, a sophomore who is playing his first season with the Hens.
Frimpong’s marker proved to be the only one of the first half, which ended 1-0.
But again it did not take long for the Delaware offense to get going as Frimpong extended the lead to 2-0 just four minutes into the second half. Mediate had the assist after playing a pass through the defense to Frimpong, a put touch past UMass’s goalkeeper Brian Frame.
The Hens were held scoreless for nearly 30 minutes before Ellis sailed a pass into the box. Frame was indecisive whether to play Ellis or Wilson, who finished the pass to the left post.
Delaware nearly doubled UMass in shots, taking 13 with the Minutemen (0-1) managing just seven. The Hens put eight shots on goal, with Frame, a Hockessin, Del. native, turning away five of the attempts.
UMass was aggressive on both offense and defense throughout, getting called offside five times. The Minutemen played short-handed for the final 10 minutes of the match after Dominic Skrajewski was given two yellow cards. Bryant Craft, who led UMass with three shots, was also given a yellow card in the 63rd minute.
Delaware hits the road for its next three games, starting with a trip to South Orange, N.J. to face Seton Hall. The Sept. 1 game is slated for 7 p.m. at Owen T. Carroll Field.
The Hens have a connection to Seton Hall, where Hennessy was an All-American player and was inducted into the Pirates’ Hall of Fame in 2006.