Saturday, May 5, 2001
By Pete Boggs
South Jersey Barons Correspondent
Marlton, NJ -- The Long Island Rough Riders scored the game's first three goals to defeat the South Jersey Barons 3-1 Saturday night in a U.S. Open Cup qualification game at Cherokee High School stadium. The loss drops South Jersey's qualification record to 0-2, and severely damages the Barons' hopes of making the Open Cup tournament, a competition which determines a national champion from all levels of professional soccer.
South Jersey carried much of the play early on -- but it was the Rough Riders who came up with the game's first tally in the 25th minute. Midfielder Ben Diallo scored it, on a rocket of a shot from 18 yards out after a scramble in front of goalkeeper Rob Vartughian's net.
Goal number two for Long Island came off the foot of forward Cordt Weinstein three minutes into the second half. Vartughian made an initial save on a shot by Moussa Sy, but couldn't control the rebound. Weinstein was there for the finish, and what turned out to be the deciding goal.
The Rough Riders, one of two higher level A-League teams which the D3 Pro League Barons have played thus far in cup qualifying, scored again in the 64th minute. Derek Etienne made a long run down the right flank, beat his defender and sent a shot just inside the far post from 15 yards out.
South Jersey answered with their first goal of the season six minutes later. Forward Majik Agu tucked a 35 yard free kick under the bar and into the far right corner, beating goalkeeper Adam Smith to put the Barons on the board. Smith would finish the match with five saves on nine Barons shots. Vartughian would finish with four saves on 10 Long Island shots.
A crowd of 1382 witnessed the game, the nightcap of the first ever South Jersey Banshees/South Jersey Barons doubleheader. South Jersey will open its D3Pro League regular season against these same Long Island Rough Riders next Saturday night on the road, before returning to Cherokee High School stadium on May 18th to face the New Jersey Stallions. That game kicks off at 7:30 PM, following the W-League contest between the South Jersey Banshees and Northern Virginia Majestics, which is set for 5:00 PM. Tickets for the doubleheader ($6.50 for adults and $4.50 for youths age 12 and under) are available at the gate.
For more information, or for Barons/Banshees season tickets, fans can call (856) 753-7608. Fans can also follow the Barons and Banshees season on the web at www.sjbarons.com.