NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Freshman forward Eric Badibanga (Burlington, Vt.) scored in the 49th minute to lift the Norwich University men's soccer team to a huge 1-0 victory over Johnson & Wales in a feisty Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action on Saturday afternoon.
Badibanga broke a scoreless tie with the biggest goal of his collegiate career, slicing through a pair of JWU defenders after he controlled a ball off the header of his brother Bienfait Badibanga (Burlington, Vt.). Eric side stepped a couple JWU defenders and fired a shot to the right post to beat the JWU goalkeeper for his third goal of the season.
Norwich (9-0-3, 6-0-1 GNAC) solidified its spot in second place in the GNAC standings, trailing only two-time defending champion Saint Joseph's (Maine), who sits first with 21 points.
The Cadets have 19 points and are six points clear of third place USJ and JWU now. NU also surpassed the 2008 team's 11-game unbeaten streak to start the season and is now the second-longest unbeaten streak to start a season to only the 2001 team.
Senior goalkeeper Brendan Germano (Monroe Township, N.J.) had three saves to pick up his sixth shutout of the season and third straight. Germano's shutout streak is up to 415:38.
Norwich outshot Johnson & Wales 9-8 and each team was whistled for 14 fouls.
Norwich will now host undefeated and No. 6-nationally ranked Saint Joseph's (Maine) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in one of the biggest home men's soccer games in program history.
With a victory, the Cadets would surpass SJC and have the inside track to the No. 1 seed in the GNAC Tournament.