JERSEY CITY — Senior left defender Nicole Sarica (Linden) has been named the NJCU women’s athlete of the week for the first time in her Gothic Knight career after being selected as the New Jersey Athletic Conference Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for week two of the 2011 season.
Sarica, a three-year team co-captain and 2009 All-NJAC selection, helped guide a defensive unit that set a school record for consecutive minutes played without surrendering a goal, while improving to 5-0-0 on the season.
NJCU’s defense allowed just four shots on goal in two games as NJCU went 2-0-0 on the week. In a 1-0, double overtime win at Neumann University on Sept. 7, Sarica helped keep Neumann off the board for the entire 105:36 of action and limited the Knights to just one shot on goal and just six total shots.
In a 5-1 win over SUNY Purchase on Sept.10, she led a quartet of fullbacks that held the Panthers to three shots on goal and four total shots. She also got involved offensively. With the final 10 seconds of the first half winding down, Sarica won the ball from a defender on the left wing, dribbled past several Purchase defenders on the left of the box and rifled home her first goal since Oct. 11, 2009 inside the left post with 0.7 seconds on the clock.
Although Purchase eventually scored with just 4:33 remaining in the game, NJCU did register its school-record third consecutive shutout during the week before its program-record five-game, scoreless minutes streak ended at 450:49—nearly 200 minutes more than the previous mark of 268:30.
Sarica has played every second of NJCU’s 469:47 of action this season. The Knights lead the NJAC in goals against average (0.38) and least goals allowed, having surrendered just two goals in five games.
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