LONGMEADOW, Mass.- Wildcats senior forward Jai Ruiz (Hadley, Mass.) scored twice to clinch Bay Path's first New England Collegiate Conference victory 2-1 over the Newbury College Nighthawks in the conference opener Saturday afternoon at Ryan Field.
Ruiz started the scoring in the ninth minute on an unassisted drive past two Nighthawk defenders. Ruiz again found the back of the net in the 15th minute after converting on a rebound, giving the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.
In the second half, Nighthawks freshman midfielder Zariya Smith (Orlando, Fla.) broke up the Wildcats shutout in the 62nd minute, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
Wildcats junior goalkeeper Caitlyn Esposito (East Haven, Conn.) garnered the win, making two saves. Newbury's senior keeper Noelle Sass (Randolph, Mass.) suffered the loss, making six saves on the afternoon.
The Wildcats are now 2-1 (1-0 NECC) while Newbury falls to 1-5 (0-1 NECC). Bay Path will host Northern Vermont-Johnson (Johnson State) in a 1:00 p.m. match Sunday, Sept. 16, while Newbury is back in action on Thursday, Sept. 20, traveling to Mass. Maritime for a 7:00 p.m. night game.
Portions of this release courtesy Bay Path Athletics.