The Sussex men's soccer team advanced to their first ever NJCAA Division III Men's Soccer National Tournament with a 1-0 win over #7 nationally ranked Brookdale CC in the NJCAA Region XIX Championship Game. Sussex started the game on the front foot by playing physical and controlling possession with a fast paced tempo that had Brookdale struggling to cope for the first 10 minutes. Their initial pressure paid off when Ekin Arisoy was taken down in the penalty area after brilliant combination play at the top of the Brookdale box. Sophomore centerback Bruno Rocha stepped up and drove home the penalty to give Sussex the early lead.
The game then settled to a more even contest as the half continued and Sussex went into the halftime break with the 1 goal advantage. The second half started with more of how the first half ended with both teams engaging in a physical battle to create chances. As Brookdale pushed more players forward to equalize, Sussex had chances to put the game to bed, but were denied by Brookdale goalkeeper Tyler Haines to keep Brokkdale in the contest. Brookdale would then push harder for the game tieing goal, but the Sussex defense, led by centerbacks Luiz Reeves and substitute Ulisses Rodrigues, were up to the challenge to helpSussex goalkeeper Bailey Caller earn the clean sheet.
Sussex will now advance to the college's first ever appearance in a NJCAA National Tournament on November 8.
Photos courtesy of Traci Smith.