NEWBURGH, N.Y. — New Jersey City University sophomore forward JULIA CASERES (Union, NJ/Union) broke a 1-1 tie just 1:14 after Mount Saint Mary College (NY) had evened the score and later netted a penalty kick as the Gothic Knight women’s soccer team opened its 2009 season and the entire NJCU athletic calendar for the year with a 4-1 victory on Tuesday night at the Kaplan Athletic Field. All four scoring plays involved newcomers to the NJCU program.
NJCU (1-0) wins its season opener for the third consecutive season while outshooting MSMC (0-1) by a 24-4 margin. It was the first meeting between the schools since 2007; NJCU has won three of the last four meetings but the Blue Knights still have the edge in the all-time series, 7-4-1.
Freshman forward/midfielder ASHLEY CUNHA (Edison, NJ/Edison) delivered two assists, including the eventual game winner. Freshman defender CHELSEA SPETHMANN (Wood-Ridge, NJ/Wood-Ridge (Hasbrouck Heights) and sophomore midfielder KATLIN VARGO (Edison, NJ/Union Catholic) netted goals for NJCU.
In an odd play to open the scoring on the 2009 season, Spethmann launched a throw-in at 12:18 of the first half that deflected off the heel of an MSMC defender and into the net for a 1-0 lead.
MSMC tied it more than three minutes later as senior forward Lauren Dorsa (Massapequa Park, NJ/Massapequa) headed in a cross from the right by senior forward Danielle Bucco (Washingtonville, NY/Washingtonville) at 15:27.
But Caseres, who scored 22 goals a year ago, playing for NJAC-rival Rutgers-Newark, buried her first as a member of the Gothic Knights at 16:41 of the first half, to seize a 2-1 lead. Cunha lofted a corner kick onto the back post, which Caseres headed home. NJCU had an 8-1 edge in corner kicks in the game.
Cunha again used a cross off a corner kick to set-up a teammate for a header as Vargo increased the lead to 3-1 at 35:08 with a stifling one-timer. Caseres notched her second goal of the game and the 24th in 21 career collegiate contests when she capitalized on a penalty kick opportunity with five seconds remaining in the second half.
NJCU junior keeper KELLY REILLY (Pennsville, NJ/Pennsville Memorial) made two saves for the win. Junior Megan Cotta (Point Pleasant, NJ/St. Rose) made 10 saves in defeat for MSMC.
NJCU will next compete in the Farmingdale State College Tournament on Sept. 4-5 in Farmingdale, N.Y. The Knights face the host Rams on Friday at 2 p.m. in the opening round.
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