JERSEY CITY — Six different Gothic Knights scored, highlighted by five points on two goals and one assist by sophomore midfielder KELSEY PLASKON (Clifton, NJ/Queen of Peace), and New Jersey City University outshot Polytechnic Institute of New York University, 33-0, en route to a 7-0 rout of the Blue Jays in a non-conference game on Monday afternoon at the Robert L. McNulty Memorial Soccer Field.
NJCU wins its second straight game and continues its best-ever season by improving to 11-5 after 16 games. The Knights recorded the fourth shutout of the season and the 44th in program history. It was NJCU’s first-ever meeting with NYU-Poly (0-10), which did not score for the ninth straight game—a span of 793:51. The game was played 9-on-9 and limited to an official 70 minute contest due to darkness.
NJCU improved to 7-0 at home this season and has won 10 consecutive home contests and 17 of its last 19.
Plaskon, who had not tallied a point in her first nine collegiate games, had a break-out effort as she netted the first two goals and five points of her NJCU career.
Meanwhile, sophomore midfielder CHELSEA SPETHMANN (Wood-Ridge, NJ/Hasbrouck Heights-Wood Ridge) andjunior sweeper/forward JENNIFER ALBUJA (Union City, NJ/Hoboken) each collected a goal and an assist while junior forward JULIA CASERES (Union, NJ/Union) notched two assists, increasing her all-time New Jersey Athletic Conference scoring record to 173 points (72 goals, 29 assists). She passed Greg Boyle of Rowan University, who had 172 points from 1984-87, for the second highest scoring total in NJAC history among men’s or women’s players.
Albuja, NJCU’s individual all-time leading scorer, moved into sixth place in NJAC history with 140 points on 65 goals and 10 assists in 53 games.
Sophomore forward GABRIELLE CLARKE (Edison, NJ/J.P. Stevens) scored the game-winning goal less than five minutes into the second half and the Knights also received single goals from sophomore midfielder AMANDA SPETHMANN (Wood-Ridge, NJ/Hasbrouck Heights-Wood Ridge) and reigning NJAC Rookie of the Week, freshman midfielder ALEXIS FREES (Linden, NJ/Linden).
Sophomore forward ASHLEY CUNHA (Edison, NJ/Edison) tallied one assist. Junior goalkeeper LAURA ROBINSON (Edison, NJ/Edison) did not face a shot in 70 minutes while recording the shutout.
All 17 healthy players saw considerable action for NJCU, which concentrated more on ball movement and connecting passes than scoring. The Knights received solid play in the back from Albuja, junior defenders ERICA BUONACQUISTA (Aberdeen, NJ/Bayonne) and NICOLE SARICA (Linden, NJ/Linden), junior midfielder MARGIE ALFANO (Randolph, NJ/West Orange), along with rookies CAITLIN BOURQUE (Browns Mills, NJ/Pemberton) and NICOLE HERNANDEZ (Belleville, NJ/Belleville) and sophomore JOANA CARDOSO (Harrison, NJ/Harrison)—all of whom prevented a single opposing scoring opportunity.
Nearly every NJCU goal was scored after a number of consecutive touches. The Knights led 4-0 at halftime on a 21-0 shots barrage, and scored the only goal it would need 4:39 into the game when Caseres centered a ball from the left to Clarke in the box, who chipped a shot into the high left side of the net. It was her second goal of the season.
At the 21:42 mark, Chelsea Spethmann made it 2-0 with her third goal of the season, lobbing a shot from the left wing over the opposing keeper.
At 35:07, NJCU made it 3-0. After a corner kick by sophomore midfielder MADELINE BASSETTI (Moore Park Beach, Queensland, Australia/Shalom College), Plaskon attempted a shot that was blocked, before Amanda Spethmann put home the rebound for her second goal of the season; Plaskon was credited with her first career point on the assist.
Just 2:03 later, Plaskon added her first career goal. Chelsea Spethmann slipped a thru ball into the box at 37:10 and Plaskon tucked a shot inside the left post for a 4-0 advantage.
The Knights added three final goals in a 6:08 span during the final 10 minutes of the game. At 62:34, Caseres fed a perfect pass from the right side to Plaskon, which she buried with a one-timer. The assist was the 21st of Caseres’ two-year NJCU career, tying her for second place in school history with Carine Carvalheiro (2001, 2003-05). Current assistant coach KATIE FEEHAN (2004-07) owns the program record with 26 helpers.
At the 66:14 mark, Albuja, who moved from sweeper to forward late in the game, produced a nearly identical goal as the previous one, sending a perfect pass to Frees in the box, who buried her fifth goal of the year. At 68:40, Cunha aired a chip from the right wing into the goalmouth and Albuja easily headed home her ninth goal of the season.
Plaskon led NJCU with 10 shots (four on goal) and junior center midfielder KATLIN VARGO (Edison, NJ/Union Catholic) had five shots while Bassetti added four. In defeat, NYU-Poly keeper Catherine Mistretta had seven saves.
NJCU looks for win #12 when it travels to the College of Staten Island for a non-conference game on Wednesday, October 20 at 4 p.m. NYU-Poly hosts the College of Mount Saint Vincent in a Skyline Conference game on October 21 at 7 p.m.
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