LYNDHURST, N.J. – Four days after attempting only six shots in a 3-0 road loss, the Felician University men's soccer team suffered a similar fate at home. On Saturday night, Felician was held to four shots in a 3-0 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference setback to visiting Chestnut Hill College at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex.
Despite winning just once in its last six conference games, Felician (5-9-2, 4-5-2 CACC) is in control of its CACC playoff fate. A win or a tie in their final regular-season game on Wednesday in Lyndhurst against Caldwell University would lift the Golden Falcons to their first postseason appearance since 2011. There are also ways for Felician to qualify with a loss on Wednesday.
Chestnut Hill (5-11, 4-8) played its final league game, but kept itself in contention for a playoff berth. After Saturday night, four teams are alive for the final two spots.
Felician University President Dr. Anne M. Prisco helped the Golden Falcons celebrate Senior Night prior to the match. Felician seniors Marco Barahona (Newark, N.J./University HS), Joel Superville (D'Abadie, Trinidad & Tobago/St. Mary's College ) and John Burns (Saddle Brook, N.J./Saddle Brook) were honored in a brief ceremony.
Chestnut Hill senior captain Joseph Casaletto (Sewell, N.J./Washington Township) recorded all three of the game's goals, including two in the first half. He took advantage of a sloppy Felician defensive play to put the Griffins on the scoreboard. In the 19th minute, Casaletto was lurking when a Felician defender turned to play a ball back to goalkeeper Burns. The ball was sent with very little pace, and Casaletto ran onto it before it could reach Burns, dribbled by him, and drilled the ball into the open net.
Late in the first half, Casaletto gave the visitors full control. He collected a pass from junior Jason Burns (Douglassville, Pa./Daniel Boone) on the left side onf the 18-yard box, turned and blasted the ball past John Burns from about 12 yards away. Three minutes, 21 seconds, remained until halftime.
Felician looked to get leading scorer Christopher McLaughlin (Hollis, N.Y./Preparatory Academy for Writers) more involved in period two. Twice, McLaughlin sent headers over the cross bar from inside the box. As time wound down, he got off an open strike on which CHC sophomore keeper Frank Maniscalco (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) made a diving save to preserve his shutout.
The Griffins secured the victory when Casaletto was taken down from behind inside the penalty area while drbbling toward the goal with 10 minutes, 45 seconds to play. Casaletto completed his first career hat trick by converting the ensuing penalty kick.
Burns finished with five saves in 82 minutes, and Barahona made one stop in eight minutes. Chestnut Hill amassed a 12-4 shot advantage.
Kickoff time in Lyndhurst against Caldwell on Wednesday is 7:30 p.m.