Men’s Soccer: #3 Norwich vs. #6 Emmanuel – GNAC Quarterfinals Preview

Men's soccer preview vs. Emmanuel - Matt Hilton

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University men's soccer team begins its quest for its fifth Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship on Sunday at 1 p.m. when it hosts No. 6 seed Emmanuel on Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium. 

The Cadets (9-3-5, 6-0-4 GNAC) earned the No. 3 seed for the GNAC Tournament after finishing unbeaten in league play for the second year in a row and third time in 10 seasons. NU is looking to extend its streak to 14 straight years of reaching at least the GNAC semifinal round. The Cadets are unbeaten in their last 22 games vs. GNAC opponents, compiling a 15-0-7 record. 

Emmanuel (3-8-7, 3-2-5 GNAC) earned the No. 6 seed for the GNAC Tournament. The Saints have been a thorn in Norwich's side lately, battling the Cadets to ties in each of the last two regular season meetings. 

Norwich is coming off an 8-0 win over Johnson State on Monday, while Emmanuel lost 4-0 to WPI this past Wednesday. 

The game will live video streamed on http://nsnsports.net/colleges/norwich for those that are unable to attend. 

EARLIER THIS SEASON: Norwich and Emmanuel played to a scoreless double-overtime tie on Sept. 22 on Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium. Norwich outshot Emmanuel 31-4 in the game. 

ALL-TIME SERIES: Norwich and Emmanuel will meet for the 20th time in the two program's histories on Sunday. The Cadets hold a 16-0-3 lead in the all-time series vs. the Saints. Norwich and Emmanuel first met in 2002 with the Cadets winning 9-0. NU and EC played to a 2-2 tie in 2OT last season in Boston. NU won 1-0 in the last postseason meeting on Sabine in the 2015 GNAC Quarterfinals.   

EMMANUEL SCOUTING REPORT: Emmanuel ranks tied for eighth in the GNAC in goals with 18 on the season. The Saints rank fifth in goals against average at 1.84 goals per game. 

EC is led offensively by sophomore William Burdick, who has five goals for 10 points this season. Freshman Justin Wentworth has chipped in with four goals and two assists for 10 points as well. 

Senior Cameron Messier has a goal and six assists for eight points. Junior Eymar Principe has two goals and an assist for five points, while junior Travis Cole has two goals for four points to round out the Emmanuel offensive leaders. 

In goal, sophomore Jonathan Ferrarini has played nearly every minute, compiling a 3-8-7 record with .812 save percentage and a 1.58 goals against average. 

NORWICH SCOUTING REPORT: Norwich ranks second in the GNAC with 43 goals and a 2.53 goals per game average. The Cadets are third in goals against average with a 1.05 average and just 19 goals against. 

Norwich is led offensively by senior Camilo Estrada (Pawtucket, R.I.) and sophomore Luke Gleadle (Gilbert, Ariz.), who each have 22 points this season. Estrada has six goals and 10 assists, while Luke Gleadle has 10 goals and two assists. 

Sophomore Carlos Guerra (Mission, Texas) has five goals and four assists for 14 points, while senior Ransford Ahenkora (Bronx, N.Y.) has five goals and two assists for 12 points. Freshman Staige Davis (Shelburne, Vt.) rounds out the top-five scorers with four goals and three assists for 11 points.   

In goal, junior Brendan Germano (Monroe Township, N.J.) has played and started in all 17 games. He has compiled a 9-3-5 record, .820 save percentage and a 1.03 goals against average. He has five shutouts this season as well.  

WHAT'S AT STAKE: The winner of Sunday's match will advance to the GNAC Semifinals, which will be played on Wednesday. The other quarterfinal matchups feature No. 1 St. Joseph's (Maine) vs. No. 8 Suffolk, No. 2 Johnson & Wales vs. No. 7 Albertus Magnus, and No. 4 Mount Ida hosting No. 5 Regis. Norwich won GNAC titles in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2008.