Robbie Bennett (Pinetown, South Africa/St. Benedict School) found the back of the net a career-high four times to help the Gannon men’s soccer team shut out Alderson-Broaddus 5-0 Sunday afternoon at a chilly Gannon University Field.
It was Gannon’s largest margin of victory during a shutout since blanking Lake Erie 6-0 at Gannon University Field on September 25, 2010. Individually, Bennett scored four goals during a match for the second time in his career. He previously accomplished the feat during a 4-1 victory against Seton Hill on September 13, 2011.
Bennett scored twice during the first half as Gannon held a 2-0 lead at the intermission. The junior forward produced goals off assists from Alex Perri (Valencia, Pa./Mars) in the 17th minute and Nick Stephenson (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake) in the 28th minute. He then exploded for two more goals in the span of 75 seconds to give the Golden Knights a 4-0 lead during the second half. Sean Pike (Liverpool, England/Range) and Perri assisted on those two scores at the 60:31 and 61:46 marks.
Niko Popovich (Columbus, Ohio/Dublin Scioto) capped the scoring with his second goal of the season in the 73rd minute. The play started with a great move by Christopher Barbolini (Williamsville, N.Y./Williamsville East) to get the ball out of traffic and up field. The true freshman picked up his first career assist in the process.
Gannon out-shot Alderson-Broaddus 18-7 and held a 5-3 edge in corner kicks. Jason Barbarino (Pittsburgh, Pa./Plum Senior) needed only one save to keep the Battlers off the board through 75 minutes and seven seconds, before Jordan Felice (Erie, Pa./Mercyhurst Prep) finished off the last 14:53 of the shutout in goal.
Head coach Rob van Rheenen‘s club moved to 2-3 overall with its 11th consecutive victory against Alderson-Broaddus. The Golden Knights extended their lead in the all-time series to 16-1-1 overall and 9-0 at home. The Battlers dropped to 1-5 with their fourth consecutive overall loss. Gannon returns to action Tuesday, September 24 at Davis & Elkins. Game time is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.