By Mike Ballard
Sophomore forward Rodney Guishard (Mays Landing, NJ/Oakcrest) collected the game-winning goal on a tough-angle shot near the baseline with 18:07 remaining and sophomore midfielder Pat Baldiserra (Milmay, NJ/Buena Regional) notched a pair of assists as the Rutgers University-Camden men’s soccer team outlasted pre-season 22nd-ranked Elizabethtown College, 2-1, in the season opener for both teams here Thursday.
The Scarlet Raptors rallied from a 1-0 deficit in a game which included one red card and one yellow card for each team.
After a scoreless first half, the Blue Jays notched the first goal at 57:12 following a corner kick by junior back Brennan Reichenbach (Selinsgrove, PA/Selinsgrove Area). Freshman back Wes Bunting (Lancaster, PA/J.P. McCaskey) scored from near the goal mouth, assisted by sophomore midfielder Michael Terry (Beech Creek, PA/Central Mountain) and Reichenbach.
A few minutes later -- with 29:46 left in regulation -- the Blue Jays received a red card for running into Raptor sophomore goalie Brent Grunow (Estell Manor, NJ/Buena Regional) and Rutgers-Camden took advantage of the man advantage. The Raptors tied the game at 61:43 on a chip inside the box by sophomore forward Onur Yilmaz (Giresun, Turkey/Delran), assisted by Baldiserra.
Rutgers-Camden scored the winner at 71:53 when Baldiserra head-flicked the ball to the baseline to the left of the goal and Guishard drilled a shot across the goal mouth inside the far right panel.
Elizabethtown had several scoring opportunities in the last five minutes, with one thwarted on a diving save by Grunow, who made five saves in his first career game at Rutgers-Camden. Elizabethtown junior goalie A.J. Fleisher (Kutztown, PA/Kutztown Area) had three saves.
The Blue Jays outshot the Raptors, 13-8, including 10-3 in the second half. Rutgers-Camden held a 5-3 margin in corner kicks.
The Scarlet Raptors return to action Saturday with a 1 p.m. home game against York (NY) College.