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Joseph Fala breaks Ramapo College Men’s Soccer Single Season Goal Scoring Record

Ramapo College men’s soccer junior forward Joseph Fala said the past year has been non-stop including the spring season where he was in the gym twice a day. Getting up at 6:00 a.m., working out twice a day, and going to work six days a week got Fala into tip top shape and his body in the right position to do well.

After Fala tallied five goals in the first two seasons with the Roadrunners, the intense training regimen in the off-season paid off as hescored six goals in the first three games of the regular season and was named NJAC Offensive Player of the Week. The goal scoring kept increasing as Fala had 14 by the time the first week of October rolled around and quickly moved up the single season goal scoring record list.

Despite running into a bit of a drought where he registered three goals in four games, Fala finished the regular season with a flurry, chalking up six goals in the final three games along with 12 points and nine game point streak. Fala ended up with 52 points during the regular season while being named United Coaches NCAA Division III National Player of the Week.

After tying Nansha Kalonji’s record of 19 goals set in 1997 against Kean on October 17 at home, Fala kept up the momentum up, scoring twice at Rowan three days later to tie Rob Santaniello’s school record of 21 goals in 2010.

“I had three or four shots on goal but two of them turned into goals and taking care of business,” said Fala. “Scoring the first goal that was my 20th went straight to my mind and I completely forgot what the number was after the 21st. I had a lot of family, friends and ex-teammates from high school there.”

“After the game the guys were coming up to congratulate me and I said it was news to me,” Fala continued. “Rob (Santaniello) texted DJ (Pinton) on the bus and said make sure he gets the two goals so I can see him break the record at William Paterson University.”

Fala admitted he was extremely nervous, but did not display any of it on Wednesday night at William Paterson when eclipsing Santaniello’s record early in the first half. Down 2-1 in the second half, Chris Nash sent the contest into overtime with a goal in the 86th minute.

Fala saved the best for last, capping off a historic regular season by notching the game winner in the 92nd minute. With the victory, Ramapo College (14-2-2) secured the second seed in the NJAC (New Jersey Athletic Conference) Tournament, a first round bye and home field advantage in the semifinals against the winner of Rutgers-Camden and William Paterson on Tuesday, October 30.

“Unbelievable honestly,” Fala said. “I got the first one out of the way eight minutes in and took the nerves right out of me. I went straight up to Rob, hugged him and he congratulated me. I could not have done it without my guys by my side. After I got the game winner I went over to the bench and we circled up as a team I got really emotional because of the guys I have been with the past two years.”

“We grinded and worked so hard, put up goals in the locker room and checked off the boxes by making the playoffs, getting a first or second seed, first round bye and rest for the semifinals on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. Best seed in DJ’s 15 years and first time having a bye in the NJAC Tournament.”

Rob Santaniello on Fala breaking his goal scoring record, “I’m very happy for Joe, a well-deserved accomplishment by him. He worked extremely hard over the past year to get in top physical shape which has been the only thing holding him the past these past two years as a player. Off the field he came into the preseason 15 pounds leaner while also gaining muscle and working out in the weight room. Joe has taken advantage of the chances presented to him and found tremendous success as his goal scoring as shown.”

Head Coach DJ Pinton commenting on Fala’s accomplishment, “You look at not just his overall numbers but conference numbers that are rarely put up in the past decade putting up double digit goals. He has pretty much carried us to the end here, last stretch to get us where we’re at and pretty special run he has gone through.”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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