Linden’s Sarica Wins ECAC Honor

CENTERVILLE, Mass. — New Jersey City University senior left defender Nicole Sarica (Linden) has received her second major award of the week as the three-year Gothic Knight co-captain has been selected as the first Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Upstate/Metro Region Defensive Player of the Week of the 2011 season.

It’s the first ECAC honor for Sarica, who earlier in the week also was selected as the New Jersey Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

Sarica, an honors student majoring in Biology, earned both awards after helping 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 also won on Tuesday for its sixth victory without a blemish.

In a 1-0, double overtime win at Neumann University on September 7—only the second road overtime win in school history (both coming in a span of four days this season)—she 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 September 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 October 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.

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