Esposito Hat Trick Lifts Kean Past NJCU Women, 3-0

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UNION—Kean University sophomore forward Danielle Esposito (Holmdel, NJ/Holmdel) notched a hat trick to account for the entire offensive output for the Cougars, and despite 11 saves by Gothic Knight junior keeper KELLY REILLY (Pennsville, NJ/Pennsville Memorial), Kean blanked NJCU, 3-0, in a New Jersey Athletic Conference women’s soccer game on Wednesday night at Kean Alumni Stadium.

Kean improves to 3-3-2 and 1-1 in the league, while NJCU drops its second straight, falling to 6-4-0 (0-2 NJAC). Kean leads the all-time series, 16-0. Kean outshot NJCU, 22-8, but the Knights held a 5-3 edge in corner kicks.

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Esposito entered the game with three goals in seven games but doubled her season totals in the game. It was the second consecutive season she has notched a hat trick versus the Knights. In all, Esposito had a game-high seven shots, including six on goal.

Kean took a 1-0 lead at 16:35 of the first half when Esposito scored on an assist from junior midfielder Lara Kaminski (Rahway, NJ/Union Catholic), her third of the year.

Esposito made it 2-0 just 4:02 later when she netted a shot at 20:37 off a pass from senior midfielder Jenna Godwin (Kingwood, NJ/Delaware Valley Regional), her second assist of the season.

NJCU had a chance to cut the lead in half at 23:40 of the first half when sophomore striker JULIA CASERES (Union, NJ/Union), the Division III national leader in goals (15) and assists (8), missed a penalty kick high.

Esposito capped off her second career hat trick and added an insurance goal nearly eight minutes into the second half, when sophomore defender Danielle Martini (Flemington, NJ/North Hunterdon) chipped in her first assist at 52:43.

Reilly’s 11 saves marked her second double-digit save performance this year. She played 78:30 of the contest before being relieved by freshman keeper CATHERINE HENSLEY (Dripping Springs, TX/Dripping Springs) for the final 11:30. Hensley stopped two shots.
Kean received two saves from junior keeper Leandra Russo (Galloway, NJ/Absegami), who posted her second shutout of the year.

NJCU is back in action on Saturday, September 26 at 1 p.m. when it hosts Rutgers-Newark in an NJAC game at the Robert L. McNulty Memorial Soccer Field.


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