BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Sophomore forward JULIA CASERES (Union, NJ/Union) had her foot involved in every New Jersey City University goal, bagging her second hat trick in as many games while adding three assists for a nine-point display and freshman forward ASHLEY CUNHA (Edison, NJ/Edison) tacked on two more goals of her own as the Gothic Knights downed Medgar Evers College, 6-2, in a non-conference game on Thursday.
With the win, NJCU improves to 3-2 on the season, while handing Medgar Evers (2-1) its first loss. NJCU leads the all-time series, 7-0, outscoring the Cougars 40-7 in those meetings.
Caseres amassed the third highest scoring effort in school history with nine points on her three goals and three assists. She now leads the New Jersey Athletic Conference in every offensive category: points (23), points per game (4.60), goals (9), goals per game (1.80), game winning goals (3), assists (5), assists per game (1.00), shots (37), and shots per game (7.40).
Cunha is now second in the conference in points (16), points per game (3.20), goals (7), and shots (29).
Sophomore midfielder NICOLE SARICA (Linden, NJ/Linden) scored her first goal of the year and the first of the game. Sophomore midfielder KATLIN VARGO (Edison, NJ/Union Catholic) and rookie defender CHELSEA SPETHMANN (Wood-Ridge, NJ/Hasbrouck Heights—Wood-Ridge) each added their second assists of the year
Junior keeper KELLY REILLY (Pennsville, NJ/Pennsville Memorial) made eight saves for the win. Junior keeper Jasmine Rodriguez made nine stops for the Cougars.
Junior midfielder Kerissa Harris netted her second goal of the year for MEC to make it a 3-1 game at halftime. Junior forward Shakera Ho-Sang chipped in her fourth goal of the season for the other Cougar mark. MEC had a 10-2 edge in corner kicks. Each player assisted on the other’s goal.
Sarica put NJCU ahead for good at 8:19 of the first half when she knocked in a rebound of a Caseres shot. Caseres made it 2-0 at 11:36 when a Spethmann throw-in opened the striker for a 1-on-1 breakaway. Caseres added an unassisted goal, and the eventual winner, at 25:57 when she took a pass from Sarica, dribbled past two defenders, before burying a shot from the 18. MEC scored at 39:05 for a 3-1 halftime margin.
The score remained that way until the 75th minute when Cunha scored the first of back-to-back goals assisted by Caseres. The first came at 74:10, before she added another in the 80th minute, knocking in a rebound of a Caseres shot for a 5-1 margin. The Cougars cut the lead to 5-2 in the 85th minute before Caseres tacked on one more at 85:39 off a feed from Vargo.
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