JERSEY CITY—Sophomore striker JULIA CASERES (Union, NJ/Union) netted her 14th and 15th goals of the year, including one that snapped a 1-1 deadlock after sophomore midfielder KATLIN VARGO (Edison, NJ/Union Catholic) had tied it, and freshman forward ASHLEY CUNHA (Edison, NJ/Edison) collected her 10th goal as New Jersey City University rallied from a 1-0 deficit to post its fifth consecutive victory, defeating Lancaster Bible College, 4-2, in a non-conference women’s soccer game on Wednesday at the Robert L. McNulty Memorial Soccer Field.
The Knights improved their record to 6-2 overall as NJCU outshot the Chargers (1-3) by a 41-7 margin. NJCU had a 23-3 shots advantage in the opening period. It was only the second meeting between NJCU and LBC and the Knights have won both contests. NJCU held a 9-0 margin in corner kicks.
Vargo had two assists, both coming on Caseres’ goals. With Cunha reaching double figures in goals, it marks only the second time in school history in which a pair of teammates have accomplished the feat. Current assistant coach KATIE FEEHAN led a pair that achieved that mark in 2005.
With NJCU bombarding the visiting goal with shots, the Chargers were able to remain competitive in the game due to the play of senior keeper Kirsten Shoemaker (Cochranville, PA/Octorara), who made 12 saves. Caseres finished with 13 shots, including six on goal, in 70 minutes, and hit two posts. Cunha had eight shots and Vargo chipped in four.
Junior keeper KELLY REILLY (Pennsville, NJ/Pennsville Memorial) had two saves for NJCU in 82:35, and also thwarted a breakaway chance by the Chargers before a shot could be taken late in the game that could have made it a one-goal game. Freshman keeper CATHERINE HENSLEY (Dripping Springs, TX/Dripping Springs) played the final 7:25.
After NJCU took the game’s first 17 shots, LBC’s first chance of the game resulted in a goal at 26:39 of the first half. Reilly cleared a ball from the top of the box, but before she could get back to the line, sophomore forward Danielle Musselman (Emmaus, PA/Salem Christian) was able to win the ball and loft a chip into the goal from in front of the midfield circle. It was her first goal of the year.
Less than six minutes later, NJCU tied it at 1-1. Vargo won a defensive clear 25 yards in front of the goal and rocketed a shot from straight away inside the left portion of the net for her fifth goal of the season. The game was tied at halftime.
Caseres, the two-time reigning New Jersey Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week, put the Knights ahead to stay six minutes into the second half. At 50:49, she collected a pass from the right side from Vargo, drove to the goal, and uncorked a shot from the right wing that banked in off the left post.
Less than two minutes Cunha made it a 3-1 cushion as she chipped a high shot from 12 yards out on the left wing over a leaping opposing keeper at 52:37. Cunha extended her streak of consecutive games with at least two points to eight in a row to open her collegiate career and collected her second game-winning goal of the year.
Caseres extended the lead to 4-1 at 60:36, for her fifth multiple-goal game this year. Vargo slipped a pass onto the right wing and Caseres dribbled near the endline where she unleashed a shot on a difficult angle that embedded itself in the net.
LBC would cut it to 4-2 at 71:11 when a feed from senior midfielder Meredith Wrightson (Silver Spring, MD/James Hubert Blake) found sophomore midfielder Kristina Clairmont (Dublin, PA) for a 1-on-1 from the left wing for her second goal of the year. The NJCU defense allowed just one more shot in the final 18:49 of action.
NJCU will be back in action on Saturday, September 19 at 2 p.m. when it hosts Richard Stockton College in the first NJAC game of the 2009 season for both squads. LBC hosts Baptist Bible College that day at 1 p.m.
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