PURCHASE, N.Y. — In a conference widely considered the best in Division III soccer, no player has now scored more often than New Jersey City University junior midfielder/forward JULIA CASERES (Union, NJ/Union). The Gothic Knight standout notched a pair of second half markers to become the all-time leader in goals in the history of the New Jersey Athletic Conference and tied the all-time scoring record, and sophomore forward/midfielder ASHLEY CUNHA (Edison, NJ/Edison) added two goals of her own as NJCU cruised to a 6-0 non-conference victory over City College of New York on Tuesday afternoon in rainy conditions at SUNY Purchase.
NJCU continues its best start to a season in program history, improving to 8-3 on the season, while outshooting CCNY (0-12) by a 28-4 margin, including 18-0 in the second half. The game was an 80-minute contest. NJCU leads the all-time series, 10-1 with a 76-7 goals differential.
Caseres increased her career totals to 70 goals and 24 assists for 164 points in only 52 games over three seasons at Rutgers-Newark (2008) and NJCU (2009-present), breaking the NJAC goals mark of 69 set by Noelle Meeke of Kean University from 1995-97. Caseres is now tied with Meeke for the most career points in NJAC women’s soccer history with 164.
Additionally, Caseres becomes only the fourth player, regardless of gender, to score 70 career goals. She is four shy of equaling Kean’s Fred Guiran who had 74 goals from 1990-92.
Also for NJCU, sophomore midfielder AMANDA SPETHMANN (Wood-Ridge, NJ/Hasbrouck Heights-Wood Ridge) contributed a goal and an assist while rookie midfielder ALEXIS FREES (Linden, NJ/Linden) netted one goal.
Sophomore midfielder CHELSEA SPETHMANN (Wood-Ridge, NJ/Hasbrouck Heights-Wood Ridge) and junior stopper KATLIN VARGO (Edison, NJ/Union Catholic) each notched an assist.
Junior goalkeeper LAURA ROBINSON (Edison, NJ/Edison) made one save in 61:50 of action before freshman NICOLE HERNANDEZ (Belleville, NJ/Belleville) played the final 18:10 between the pipes without a save as NJCU recorded its third shutout of the season.
Vargo, junior defensive center midfielder ERICA BUONACQUISTA (Aberdeen, NJ/Bayonne) and rookie sweeper CAITLIN BOURQUE (Browns Mills, NJ/Pemberton) helped NJCU limit CCNY to just one shot on goal and held an opponent to one or fewer goals for the seventh time in 11 games. Freshman keeper Erika Jimenez (Fresh Meadows, NY) made eight saves for CCNY.
NJCU outshot CCNY 10-4 in the first half and started slowly as only five of its 10 regular field starters were in the opening lineup. NJCU got the only goal it would need at 21:23 as Cunha scooped up a loose ball, made a cut, and blasted home a shot from 30 yards for her fifth goal of the season.
Leading 1-0 at the half, NJCU put the game away with three goals in a span of 5:49 early in the second period. Just 2:28 into the action, Frees gathered a deflected pass from Amanda Spethmann, and knocked a shot into the target from the right side.
Caseres tied the NJAC career scoring record with her 17th goal of the season and 69th overall at 45:38 as she headed home an Amanda Spethmann cross from the right side.
Less than three minutes later, NJCU took a 4-0 lead thanks to the sister act. Chelsea Spethmann fed her twin sister with a cross from the left, which Amanda Spethmann finished with a one-timer for her first goal of the season.
Caseres would break the all-time scoring record on a gorgeous header at the 53:10 mark. Vargo lofted a corner kick from the right endline before Caseres headed in the record-breaker. It was her 18th goal of the year and 70th overall.
Cunha’s sixth goal of the year capped the scoring at the 62:45 mark as she unleashed a shot from nearly 40 yards that banked in off the inside of the right post.
NJCU looks to improve upon its 2-2 NJAC record on Saturday, October 9 at 1 p.m. when it meets Richard Stockton College in Pomona, NJ.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!