Ironmen Knot Up 1st Place with Win

Lucio Gonzaga turned in an eye-popping 18 points in two games this past weekend (Photo by Dario Cantatore)
New Jersey Runs Winning Streak to Three Games

Newark, N.J. (Sunday, January 11, 2009) – The New Year has been good to the New Jersey Ironmen (3-2), who have run off three consecutive wins since hanging the 2009 calendar on the wall. The team picked up their second win in three days tonight at Prudential Center after defeating the Milwaukee Wave (3-2) by a tally of 14-4, placing themselves into a three-way first place tie in the Xtreme Soccer League.

The action on the pitch was intense from the opening whistle with the atmosphere at Prudential Center reflecting the intensity of the situation. The Ironmen got on the board first in the opening frame when former Cuban National Team player Rey Martinez made good on a Shawn Boney feed at 5:11, and the 2-0 New Jersey advantage rode out the remaining minutes of the quarter.

U.S. National Futsal Team midfielder Sunny Naumoski stretched the gap to 4-0 for the Ironmen at 9:48 of the second period after Boney set him up in front of Milwaukee goalkeeper Marcel Feenstra. At 3:32 of the quarter, the Wave were awarded a shootout attempt, but New Jersey netminder Brett Phillips stood his ground to prevent Milwaukee forward Guiliano Oliviero from doing any damage. The one-on-one opportunity was the third for the Ironmen opposition this season, yet no team has converted the potential freebie on New Jersey in those three chances. Eventually, after 28:14 of shutout soccer, midfielder Marcelo Fontana answered for the Wave to make it a 4-2 match heading into intermission.

Fresh off an 11-point game on Friday night against the Chicago Storm, Ironmen midfielder Lucio Gonzaga went coast-to-coast and nailed a deep three-pointer at 3:09 of the third stanza to give his team a 7-2 lead heading into the final 15 minutes of regulation.

A Travis MacKenzie to Chad Burt notch at 11:12 of the fourth frame brought Milwaukee within three points, 7-4, but Gonzaga fed reigning Rookie of the Year Frederico Moojen at 5:01 to extend the advantage back to five points in favor the hosts, 9-4. New Jersey then put the icing on the cake in the waning minutes of the match on a Chile Farias two-point goal and a three-pointer for the red hot Lucio Gonzaga. The notch gave the Brazilian an eye-popping 18 points in two games this weekend.

With the 14-4 decision, the Ironmen outscored their two opponents this weekend, 37-12, in a pair of victories. The win, paired with a Sunday evening win by the Detroit Ignition (3-2) over the Chicago Storm (2-5), also bumps New Jersey into a three-way tie for first place in the XSL. Phillips picked up his second win of the year while Gonzaga hit the game-winning goal in the game tonight.

Next up for the Ironmen is a Friday night rematch in Milwaukee, and the second-year side returns to Prudential Center on Sunday, February 8, to host the Chicago Storm (2-4). Tickets for that contest start at $10 and can be purchased by calling 1-800-IRONMEN!

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