NORTHFIELD, Vt. - The Norwich University men's soccer team picked up one of its most convincing wins in recent memory with a 4-0 victory over Wheaton (Mass.) to claim the 2019 Cadet Kickoff Classic title on Saturday night at Sabine Field.
Senior Josue Lopez (Chula Vista, Calif.) and sophomore Matt Bento (Brookfield, Conn.) each had a goal and an assist while freshman Robert Wagenseller (Poway, Calif.) stopped all five shots he faced to pick up his first collegiate shutout.
After a pedestrian first 44 minutes, Norwich (2-0) finally broke through with Julio Arreola (Chula Vista, Calif.) scoring his second goal in as many games, tapping home a loose ball in the box to give the Cadets a 1-0 lead that they would never look back from. Shoki Araki (Riverside, Conn.) flicked the ball forward off a free kick service from Alex Brannan (Oneonta, N.Y.) to both pick up assists on the goal.
Norwich kept its foot on the gas pedal at the start of the second half and doubled its advantage to 2-0 just under five minutes in with Bento finished off a chance off an assist from Lopez. Lopez drilled a shot from the top of the 18 off the left post and then Bento buried the rebound after the ball redirected out to the top of the six.
Freshman Joseph Thongsythavong (Salem, Mass.) scored his first collegiate goal in the 70th minute to increase the lead to 3-0 with an assist from Matteo Iagrossi (Schenectady, N.Y.). Iagrossi made a nice move on the end line to edvade a defender and then centered the ball to Thongsythavong, who buried the ball into the back of the net.
Lopez made it 4-0 in the 75th minute off an assist from Bento to cap the scoring.
Norwich outshot Wheaton 13-7 for the game. The Cadets have now won five of the six Cadet Kickoff Classic titles in the tournament's history.
NU will look to keep its hot streak up when it hosts Middlebury College at 7 p.m. on Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium.