Nighthawks Blank Becker, 5-0 on Senior Night

Nighthawks Blank Becker, 5-0 on Senior Night

MEDFORD, Mass. - Nighthawks senior Nicholas Olivares-Thompson (Rochester, N.H.) scored a pair of goals on Senior Night, providing plenty of offense in the Newbury Nighthawks 5-0 win over the Becker Hawks on Saturday evening in New England Collegiate Conference play.

Prior to the game, Olivares-Thompson and fellow seniors Elias BouChamoun (Stockton, N.J.) and Jarrod Smith (Watertown, N.Y.) celebrated Senior Night. All three were members of the starting 11, marking BouChamoun's first career start.

Olivares-Thompson started the scoring in the 11th minute for his third goal of the season. Olivares-Thompson was the beneficiary of a through pass from junior Julius Davis (Philadelphia, Pa.). Olivares-Thompson held off the defenders and slid a shot past the Hawks goalie for a 1-0 lead.

The Nighthawks made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute with freshman Warren Exceus (Boston, Mass.) scoring his team-leading sixth goal of the season. Off a free kick by freshman Rony Morales (Seekonk, Mass.), a flick by junior Josue Lopez (San Diego, Calif.) found Exceus, who buried the shot from five yards out.

Newbury added another in the 37th minute for a 3-0 lead. A foul in the Becker box drew a penalty kick for freshman Melvin Gonzalez (Quincy, Mass.), who converted from the penalty spot for his first goal of the season.

Following halftime, Olivares-Thompson scored his second of the game in the 54th minute for a 4-0 lead. Junior Alex Strafer (Auburn, Mass.) netted his first this season in the 57th minute, giving the Nighthawks a 5-0 lead.

"It was great to score on Senior Night," said Olivares-Thompson. "But, the more important thing is that we all got the win today."

Olivares-Thompson's two-goal game is the second of his career while his four goals this season are a career-high for a season and tied for second-most on the Nighthawks this season.

Smith took the win, improving to 2-1-1 this season. His win matches him for the most wins by a goalie in program history (17) while the clean sheet gives him the most career shutouts (8).

"The hard work after all these years has finally paid off," said Smith. "And this team feels like a real team, we're bonding a lot better and we are really a family."

BouChamoun, who joined the Nighthawks as a junior, is held in high regards but his coaches and teammates.

"It was definitely worth joining in my junior year," said BouChamoun. "I was in the stands three years ago, watching the team play, and that motivated me to play... I appreciate the fact that I'm apart of such a talented team."

The win moves the Nighthawks to 9-3-3 (5-0-2 NECC), as they maintain the top spot in the conference. The loss drops Becker to 2-11-2 (1-4-1 NECC) this season.

Newbury is 8-1-2 in their last 11 games, outscoring opponents 25-9 in that span, including five clean sheets.

"(The players) all want to work hard and play for each other and the most important thing for them is that they want to win the game," said Head Coach Bill Maddock. "(The players) don't care who starts, who makes the saves, who scores the goals, they all want to finish the game with a win. The coaches only ask for a complete effort and positive attitude and we see that in the results."

The Nighthawks return to play on Tuesday, looking to go unbeaten in the conference for the first time in program history, as they host New England College at 4:00 p.m. Becker returns to play on Wednesday, hosting Mitchell College at 4:00 p.m.

"We're not done yet, we've put ourselves in a good position," said Maddock. "But we want to make sure we can win in November and this team is capable of doing that as long as we are the mentally superior team."

Following the conference-season finale on Tuesday, the Nighthawks will finish their season at UMass Dartmouth on Sept. 27.