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Men's Soccer: Warriors Open with Win

They blank Clarkson at Lotto tourney; face No. 22 St. Lawrence Sunday

tobler shirt 72_2539.jpgCANTON, N.Y. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team repeated its 2005 Lotto Tournament victory over Clarkson University Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, the Warriors hope to change their luck from that tournament of six years ago against host St. Lawrence University.

At left: Cory Tobler

In the season-opener for both teams Saturday, Eastern all-region senior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) posted his 21st career shutout with six saves and junior midfielder Cory Tobler (Portland) scored the 11th and 12th goals of his three-year career as the Warriors dumped Clarkson University, 3-0, at Sandy MacAllaster Field.

On Sunday, Eastern faces No. 22 St. Lawrence, a 3-2 winner over SUNY College at Oneonto Saturday.  The Saints got a goal and assist from second-team All-America Sam DeMello against the Red Dragons.

In its only other visit to the Lotto Tournament in 2005 in its season-opener, Eastern couldn't hold a one-goal lead in the final minutes as the hosts rallied to force overtime with less than four minutes remaining in regulation, and won it with just under six minutes gone in sudden death overtime. Freshmen scored their first career goals in that match for St. Lawrence, which ws rated No. 12 in the pre-season after reaching the Round of 16 in the 2004 NCAA tournament. The Warriors were coming off a 6-11-3 record in 2004.

Saturday,sophomore midfielder Kyle Surprenant (Coventry) and junior forward Matt Furman (Montville) set up Tobler's first two goals, and senior midfielder Matt Esposto (East Haven) put the game away with a goal off an assist from sophomore forward Mitch Power (Douglas, MA) midway through the second half.

Tobler's first goal gave the Warriors a quick lead in the sixth minute and Appel protected the slim advantage until Tobler tracked down Furman's long lead pass and beat Clarkson keeper Saverino Spagnolo on a breakaway.

Eastern is now 5-0 in openers under fifth-year head coach Greg DeVito, with the shutout in the season's first game the first since a 2-0 home victory over Westfield State in DeVito's head coaching debut in 2007.

Appel made six saves to post the 21st full shutout of his career - the second-most by an Eastern goalie in the last 21 years.

The Warriors are coming off last year's NCAA tournament appearance and a final  14-4-3 record. Clarkson was 6-8-2 a year ago under second-year head coach Nick Hillary.


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