Freshman James Altadonna (Massapequa Park, NY/Massapequa) scored four times on four shots in his college debut, leading the SUNY New Paltz men’s soccer team past Western New England College (WNEC), 4-1 during the Adidas Kick-Off Classic in Norton, MA.
“This is a huge win for us,” stated head coach Eric Watson. “To be able to open the season with a win over a NCAA tournament competitor is a big confidence builder and proves that New Paltz is ready for the next level.”
The WNEC Golden Bears completed the 2007 with a record of 15-6-2, capturing The Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament title and participated in the NCAA Division III Championship for the fourth consecutive year. WNEC defeated Johnson & Wales 1-0 in the first round before dropping a 3-2 decision at No. 6 Amherst. The game was extra special for Watson as he coached against Erin Sullivan, a former teammate of Watson’s at Williams. Watson and Sullivan were both goalkeepers for the Eph’ s squad.
In a first half during which only six shots were fired between the squads, including just two for New Paltz, the Hawks forged ahead after 8:10 on Altadonna’s first marker, as he tipped in a crossing pass from freshman Tommy Willoughby (Levittown, NY/Island Trees). Classmate Tommy Garafola (Richmond Hill, NY/Saint Francis Prep) also assisted.
New Paltz began pulling away early in the second half, as Altadonna finished off a natural hat trick with goals at 56:35 and 61:35. The initial marker of the stanza came after Altadonna redirected a free kick from junior Sean Reminick (East Meadow, NY/East Meadow), while the next tally was assisted by both Garafola and Reminick.
“Altadonna was solid in his first collegiate start.” “He proved that he can compete at the collegiate level and make things happen up top.”
The Golden Bears broke onto the board just 1:55 following Altadonna’s third goal, as senior Dale Totman scored from point-blank range in front of the net following a feed by classmate Dan Hare.
Altadonna completed his offensive outburst with 4:10 remaining in the contest on a pass from senior Robert Mendes (Mineloa/Wheatley). Senior keeper Patrick Carlucci (Goshen, NY/Goshen) made five stops for the victory. Kyle Bak turned aside one shot in 63 minutes of action for Western New England, and Ben Pearl made two saves in relief. The Golden Bears finished with a 17-10 advantage in shots.
New Paltz completes play at the tournament tomorrow when they face, host Wheaton at 2:00 p.m.