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On heels of first national ranking, Warriors win fourth straight by a goal

FITCHBURG, Mass. - For the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team, something new - a national ranking -- produced something old - a one-goal win -- in Wednesday night's 1-0 non-conference victory over Fitchburg State College.

One day after earning its first-ever national ranking (13th) in the NSCAA Division III Top 25 poll, the Warriors posted their fourth straight one-goal victory of 2008. The triumph came courtesy of  junior defender/forward Nicholas Boretti (Marshfield, MA), who cashed in his fifth goal of the season with less than three minutes remaining to snap a stalemate and give Eastern its 14 straight match without a loss (11-0-3).

The win is  Eastern's fourth this season against three ties away from home and marks the fourth straight time  in a span of 11 days that Eastern has emerged from a one-goal game with a win. A week ago Sunday, Eastern edged Bridgewater State, 2-1 at Nevers Field, then trimmed the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 1-0, last Wednesday before recording a crucial 4-3 Little East Conference verdict over the University of Southern Maine Saturday at home.

Although Eastern was without senior backs Kyle Bedini (Manchester) and Jimmy McConville (Manchester) - both nursing pulled muscles - freshman keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) needed to make only two saves in order to register his seventh shutout of the year - fourth in the last six starts. To replace the two defenders, Boretti began the evening on defense, and was joined there by regular midfielder James Picarelli (Brewster, NY).

Early in the match, Boretti joined all-region forward Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) up front. After 87 minutes of action, the move eventually paid dividends when Fantl found Boretti alone in the box with just under three minutes left. Boretti's initial shot was blocked by a Fitchburg (4-9-1) defender but bounced back to Boretti, who delivered his fifth game-winning goal in two years inside the near post, past junior keeper Matt Carey.

Eastern doubled Fitchburg's shot total (16 to 8) and was credited with six of the game's eight corner kicks.

For the second time in a week, Eastern will be involved in a battle of conference unbeatens when it faces Rhode Island College at noon. Eastern is 3-0-2 in the conference, Rhode Island 4-0-1.  The Anchormen lead the LEC with 13 points, with the University of Southern Maine next with 12 points and Eastern third with 11.

Eastern Conn. 1, Fitchburg State College 0

Eastern Conn. (12-1-3)        0    1 -- 1
Fitchburg State (4-9-1)        0    0 -- 0

Scoring: Nicholas Boretti 87:07.
Shots: E-16, F-8; Saves: E-Carl Appel 2, F-Matt Carey 7. Corner kicks: E-6, F-2.