Joseph Fala ascending up Ramapo Men’s Soccer scoring list
Junior forward ranks third overall in NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer with 14 goals.
Ramapo College Men’s Soccer forward Joseph Fala is not interested in looking at the stat books or history. Fala is more concerned about the Roadrunners 10-1 start, good for second in the NJAC (New Jersey Athletic Conference). However, it’s hard to overlook what Fala has accomplished 11 games into the 2018 regular season.
The junior is ranked third overall in NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer with 14 goals and eighth in goals per game at 1.27. Fala is tied with Rob Santaniello who holds the current school record for most regular season goals (21), set in 2010. He is two away from equaling Santaniello’s mark of 16 goals in 2009, three from matching Marco Chung in 1999 and four and five goals that would be good for second place with Nansha Kalonji in 1996 and 1997.
In addition, Fala has tied Kalonji for most game winning goals in a regular season with six. Fala leads the Roadrunners in points with 33.
“We still have a huge chunk left to go and accomplish,” said Fala. “Making the playoffs in the NJAC, NCAA Tournament and going deep in both of those tournaments. Looking past the stats and looking at W’s and winning as a team.”
“We were ranked number nine in the pre-season rankings and we thought that was disrespectful. We came out with a chip on our shoulder, this is our breakout year and we still have work to do. A huge overtime victory at TCNJ where we kept fighting and went our way. We’re just outside of the top 25 at 26 or 27.”
“I’m getting a lot of calls and texts from former coaches, teammates and high school team reaching out to me and congratulating me and it’s all love. Posts on social media about me being in the top three in scoring in the nation. My motto has been to keep rolling.”
From Cape May Court House, New Jersey, Fala attended Middle Township High School where he won numerous awards.
“I played basketball and tennis, a multi-sport athlete and one of two athletes in my senior class that played three sports,” Fala said. “I couldn’t focus on one sport at one time, in the summer it was all soccer.”
Once Fala arrived at Ramapo College, the transformation began. After entering his freshman year standing at 6’5 and weighing 160 pounds, Fala took off from that point, gaining two inches and 40 or 50 pounds.
“I put on a lot of muscle and changed physically,” said Fala. “Playing on a summer team got me well prepared for this season, I came out this season getting my body in shape in order to compete and show I have and can do.”
With a team consisting mainly of juniors and seniors, Fala points to the play of senior forward Trevor Albrecht, who leads the team with eight assists and second in scoring at 14 points, as a key piece to the roster.
“He changed a lot from when I was a freshman and sophomore when he had the ball in his feet a lot,” said Fala. “Now he is passing the ball and looking for options. The chemistry between the backline and midfielders to the forwards have been great.”
“Freshman came in, talked to us and Coach (Pinton). Filling in spots and their time to shine will be in a year or two just like we did in our freshman and sophomore year. We sat back and watched what he had to do.”
Fala credits Head Coach DJ Pinton who is in his 15th season as head coach of the Roadrunners on recruiting new players and him a couple of years ago.
“Coach Pinton brought in a couple of new transfers from community colleges mostly from North and Central New Jersey. It’s great playing for him, he never saw me play but my first four games of freshman year he started me. Threw me out there, I did my job and he congratulated me. Trusting me the whole season to fill in when someone went down.”
Next up for Ramapo College is a showdown at Montclair State (11-1, 4-0 NJAC) on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. The Roadrunners have won the last two matchups between the schools, including a 4-3 overtime victory two years ago.
“A huge game that will put us in first place with a win,” said Fala. “The atmosphere on campus, Fala says, has been very supportive.
“Other athletic teams’ are congratulating us, supporting us and coming out to the games.”
Sunil Sunder Raj
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