Saturday was a busy day in the Athletic Department, as Cumberland hosted two soccer matches and then the annual Dukes Invitational Cross Country Meet back-to-back-to-back. The weather did not exactly cooperate with Saturday's slate of events, but even a little rain, and at some points, pouring rain did not deter any of the competitive action.
The day started off dry with a Women's Soccer matchup with Raritan Valley Community College. The Golden Lions of Raritan Valley exploded out of the gate, scoring three goals to hold an early 3-0 lead with 27:30 left in the first half. Then, the Dukes struck back with a special individual display by Sophomore captain Jasmine Miro. Miro completed a hat-trick, scoring three goals in a span of fifteen minutes to knot the game at three going into halftime.
The situation provided an exciting and tense second half as the two teams traded scoring opportunities. Raritan finally broke through late in the eightieth minute and held on to upend the Dukes 4-3. With the loss, the Women's Soccer Team dropped to 0-2-1 on the season. They will host Middlesex County College on Tuesday at 4:00 PM.
The Cumberland Men took the field next in a matchup against the Raritan Valley men's side. Aside from a couple of mishaps that led to the only two goals scored by Raritan, the Dukes controlled the majority of the game. Freshman Anthony Battistini started off the scoring in the thirty-third minute on an assist from Andrew Alcorn that led to a breakaway goal for Battistini. Just two minutes later, sophomore midfielder Josue Guadarrama scored on an assist from Jacob Cowan.
The Dukes came out in the second half with a 2-0 lead, which was quickly cut to one on a Golden Lions penalty kick in the fifty-third minute that was awarded on a Cumberland foul inside the penalty area.
The Cumberland offense responded just one minute later when Vince Giardino connected with a Freddie Beck cross, putting the ball into the back of the net. Raritan did not go away though, with Erick Hernandez scoring his second goal of the afternoon.
Two more goals from the Dukes after the sixty-fifth minute put some distance between the sides and Cumberland locked up their fifth win of the season with a 5-2 final score. Guadarrama scored twice on the rainy afternoon and Cowan tallied one goal and two assists.
The Dukes Invitational
The rain started come in bunches throughout the three races on the day, with the first going off at 3:30. As the rain continued to come down, the three heats took to the unique course that consisted of turf, sand, dirt, and asphalt.
The meet saw some impressive times despite the tough course and weather conditions. Mercer County Community College took home the First-Place trophy on the women's side with Camden County College finishing second. Cumberland's Amanda Grissman posted the best time for the host college finishing eighth with a time of 27:20. Nicole Crow crossed the finish line right behind Grissman with a time of 28:13.
In the Men's Heat, host Cumberland County College grabbed the first place trophy in the pouring rain after placing all five runners in the top 16, narrowly edging Bergen Community College by two total points. Valley Forge Community College finished third.
The Dukes top runner on the afternoon was Matt Crow with a time of 19:23 and a fourth place overall finish. Camden's Matt Walker finished with the best time on the day at 18:57. Rounding out Cumberland's five runners were Nathan Mooney (19:27, 7th Place), Frank Aponte (20:43, 13th), Ankit Sharma (20:48, 14th), and Tom Miller (21:14, 16th).