Brantmeyer's Hat Trick Sends Rams to ECAC Finals

Brantmeyer's Hat Trick Sends Rams to ECAC Finals

Brantmeyer's Hat Trick Sends Rams to ECAC Championship Game

Farmingdale State - 3, Rutgers-Newark - 2

Newark, N.J. – Three long-range goals by Farmingdale State freshman midfielder Joe Brantmeyer in the second half shocked top-seeded Rutgers-Newark in the semifinal round of the ECAC Metro D-III Men’s Soccer Championship semifinals on Saturday night.

The Rams (10-8-1) advance to Sunday night’s 7 o’clock title match against second-seeded Drew (10-5-5), which battled past Richard Stockton (12-9-1) in overtime, 3-2, in the day’s opening contest. The Scarlet Raiders (13-6-4) saw the winningest season in Rutgers-Newark history come to an abrupt end.

The Raiders seemed in complete control of the match at halftime behind two goals from junior forward Innocent Buule and a hefty 12-3 edge in shots. But, Farmingdale State battled Rutgers-Newark evenly in the second half as each squad took 10 shots.

The difference was Brantmeyer. He hammered a 45-yarder from near the right sideline into the opposite side of the goal over freshman goalkeeper Domenico Martirano in the 56th minute to keep the Rams in the fray.

He curled a free kick from just outside the 18 around the blocking wall and just inside the right post in the 74th minute to tie the contest before he drilled the game-winner through the save attempt by Martirano from 45 yards out on the left side on another free kick with exactly 15 minutes left in the match. The match was played in a steady drizzle.

Buule notched his eighth and ninth goals of the season six minutes apart in the opening period. He ran onto a through pass from sophomore midfielder Ronald Quiroz and fired a shot into the left side of the net in the 33rd minute. He collected a loose ball on the left side, broke down Ram goalkeeper Patrick Gubbins with a nifty move near the 18, and punched in his second tally in the 69th minute.

But, Gubbins made three of his five saves in the second period to help Farmingdale State stay alive while Martirano came up with four of his five stops in the final 45 minutes.

Martirano made his first start in goal replacing junior Matt Zielyk who suffered a broken toe in the Raiders’ NJAC semifinal loss to Montclair State.

In the opener, Ranger senior midfielder Anthony Pisani fired a shot into the right side of the net on a cross from the center by junior midfielder Matthew Greenburg in the ninth minute of overtime to lift Drew over Stockton.

After a scoreless opening period, the Ospreys got goals by junior Rafael Duarte sandwiched around a pair of tallies by Drew senior forward Greg Zizik to force the extra period. Greenburg posted his first assist on Zizik’s first score before senior forward Jonah Silk send a cross that Zizik headed into the middle of the net less than three minutes after his initial tally in the 72nd minute.

Duarte headed in a corner kick from the left side from junior midfielder Sean Nelson in the 86th minute to level the score at 2-2.

Drew senior goalkeeper David Brigandi made seven saves while Stockton sophomore Lou Herring stopped two tries after halftime.

- Story from John Stallings, Rutgers-Newark SID -