NEWTON, Mass. – Senior Riley McNicholas (Hopkinton, N.H.) and freshman JP Rioux (Stony Point, N.Y.) scored two goals apiece Monday afternoon as Johnson & Wales University downed Lasell College, 5-1, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's soccer game at Taylor Field.
Sophomore Simon Nigro (Simsbury, Conn.) scored Lasell's only goal in the 22nd minute to tie the score at 1-1, but the rest of the offense belonged to the Wildcats. McNicholas added back-to-back goals before halftime and the visitors never looked back.
JWU, picked second in the GNAC preseason poll, improves to 4-1-1 overall and 2-1 in conference play, while Lasell drops to 1-3-1 overall and 0-2-1 in the league.
Rioux gave JWU an early lead with his third of the season in the 17th minute, with an assist from senior Yohann Assouramou (Cotonou, Benin). That lead lasted less than five minutes until Nigro scored on a Laser free kick to knot the game at 1-1.
McNicholas gave the Wildcats the lead for good with his fourth of the season at 28:06, and followed with his second of the game at 42:25, set up by senior Andrew Vecere (Wayne, N.J.) Senior Tucker MacPherson (Raymond, N.H.) tacked on another goal less than a minute later to make it 4-1 at the intermission.
Rioux rounded out the scoring 15 minutes into the second half with his second of the game and fourth of the season. JWU finished with an 18-5 advantage in shots and an 8-3 margin in corner kicks.
Both teams used two keepers. Senior Nicholas Mancini (Toms River, N.J.) played the first 68 minutes for JWU before giving way to junior Adam Cassidy (Jersey City, N.J.), with both making just one save. Juniors Jackson Burhans (Berlin, N.Y.) and Teo Cugno (Medford, Mass.) each played one half and made three saves apiece.
The Lasers are home again on Wednesday to host GNAC foe Regis College in what is the Pediatric Cancer Awareness Game at 4:00 p.m. at Taylor Field. Johnson & Wales plays its next four game at home, beginning Wednesday against conference opponent Colby-Sawyer College at 5:00 p.m.
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