Simon-Peter Omooba arrived at NYIT with blazing speed. Now a senior, he has developed a finishing touch, too.
Omooba scored a second-half hat trick for the first multi-goal game of his career as the NYIT men’s soccer team defeated Felician, 4-2, in Thursday’s season opener at President’s Stadium.
NYIT won its opener for a sixth straight season.
“I only got two goals last year, so it was good to get a few,” Omooba said. “It was good for the team, too. A good win.”
Captain Dan Lembo christened the season with a goal on a free kick from 25 yards out 3 minutes, 30 seconds into the match.
Niko Iloski answered for Felician later in the first half, but Omooba answered with three consecutive goals to open the second half — the first two on assists from Martin Sundell.
Sundell had missed a good portion of the preseason injured, and came off the bench on Thursday.
Omooba also came off the bench against Felician. The first of his three goals, which came at 51:23, was particularly nifty as Omooba chipped the shot off the right post and into the net, past Felician goalkeeper Joe Sartori.
Back Xavi Senlik preserved the two-goal lead in the final minutes when he deflected a would-be Felician goal.
Still, coach Carlos Delcid wants to see improvement from his squad.
“It’s good we got the win, but I didn’t think we played well,” Delcid said. “Our first game all year, we looked a bit shaky, especially the freshmen. We’ve got a lot of work to do, especially with the teams we’re going to play ahead of us.”
Said Omooba: “I know we’ve got a lot of work to do. But we did well in preseason. We started slow, and now we’re picking it up.”
Four student-athletes made their collegiate debuts in the starting lineup in the victory: midfielder and brothers Randy and Wilber Gomez as well as NunoMecia and Matthaeus Granger. Graduate student Bernd Schlüter made his NYIT debut.
“I knew since last year my brother was going to come here to the same college as me,” redshirt freshman Randy Gomez said. “We just have this chemistry on the field and we don’t have to speak to each other, ever since high school, ever since we were young. Because we’re close in age, we always just knew and had chemistry on the field.”