Newark Returns Home on Sunday to Host the Rhode Island Stingrays
Jerrod Laventure hopes to continue his blazing start (Photo by Rich Graessle)
Newark, N.J. (Friday, May 15, 2009) – After picking up six points on a pair of division wins last weekend, the Northeast Division leading Newark Ironbound Express (2-1-0) will look to duplicate that performance again this weekend. After a Saturday night pairing on the road with the Long Island Rough Riders (1-0-0), the Express will return to Lubetkin Field at NJIT on Sunday for a 4:00 p.m. showdown with the Rhode Island Stingrays (0-0-1).
Ironbound striker Jerrod Laventure led the way for Newark last weekend, tallying 12 points on five goals and two assists in a 24-hour span. His stellar play caught the eyes of both the league and the media, as Laventure was named both the USL Premier Development League and BigAppleSoccer.com Player of the Week. He now has twice as many points as any other player in the league.
In a Saturday night victory over the New Jersey Rangers (2-0-1) last weekend, all five goals in the 4-1 result came in the first half. Laventure set up Teddy Niziolek in the 8th minute, only to see Ranger striker Dritan Sela equalize two minutes later. Laventure then hit an amazing hot streak, scoring three knocks in 21 minutes to close out the first half. Head coach George Vichniakov then took a defensive approach to the second 45 to secure the win.
The Express looked to ride that momentum into a match with New Hampshire (0-2-1) last Sunday at Lubetkin Field, but it was the Phantoms that gained an early advantage on a Joey Barima to Chris Banks notch in the 15th minute. It only took five minutes for Laventure to even the count by finishing a Kyle Clancy feed, and Ironbound midfielder Justin McGrath launched a bomb from outside the 30 in the 29th minute to give the Express their first lead on their home turf, 2-1.
The second half scoring got started off the likely foot of Laventure, with the Haitian striker pounding home a penalty kick in the 51st minute. He got himself onto the other side of the score sheet five minutes later when he returned the favor for an earlier set up to Clancy, and the Express saw their advantage stretch to 4-1. New Hampshire substitute Mike Todesca then brought his team within two goals in the 86th minute, but an Alex Russo to Carlos Salazar knock in the 89th minute brought the lead back to three scores and posted the final 5-2 count.
While the 2009 PDL season is still in its infancy, Ironbound faces a genuine opportunity to gain some steam on the rest of the Northeast Division. After suffering their first home loss in team history to the Brooklyn Knights (1-0-2) on opening day, the Express overtook the division lead after Brooklyn played to consecutive draws in their next two contests. The Knights host New Hampshire this Sunday at Aviator Field.
For all of the latest updates and roster acquisitions regarding the Ironbound Express, stay tuned to the team website at www.newarkironboundexpress.com!