EWING — Senior striker Jennifer Albuja (Union City /Hoboken) became the first Gothic Knight to ever score against long-time national power The College of New Jersey, netting her 20th goal of the season in the 15th minute, but the #14/20 ranked Lions were too strong, sending NJCU to a 6-1 loss in a New Jersey Athletic Conference women’s soccer game on Saturday at the TCNJ Soccer Complex.
TCNJ, the two-time defending conference champions, and winners of 14-of-17 NJAC titles since the championship’s inception in 1994, remained undefeated and in first place in the league with a 10-2-2 overall and 7-0-0 NJAC record and 21 points. NJCU fell to 12-6 with the loss, 3-4 in the NJAC.
The Lions entered the game ranked No. 14 in Division III by D3soccer.com and #20 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
The Lions put 20 of their 35 shots on goal and outshot NJCU, 35-7. Six of NJCU’s seven shots were on goal. TCNJ used 26 players and was whistled for 18 offsides.
Albuja netted the 86th goal and 190th point of her career in her 77th game and reached the 20-goal plateau for the third time in her four seasons. Sophomore center midfielder Brianna Taylor (Linden) notched her eighth assist of the season in defeat.
Senior defender Brittany McGinley (Cranford) and freshman forward Leigh Applestein (Pennington /Hopewell Valley) each scored twice for the Lions. TCNJ got single goals from sophomore defender Lauren Giles (Deptford) and junior midfielder Amy Van Dyk (Wyckoff /Ramapo).
While NJCU has already clinched its second consecutive NJAC Tournament berth, the No. 5 seed in the conference tournament will be at stake when the Knights host sixth-place Rutgers University-Camden on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 3:30 p.m. at the Robert L. McNulty Memorial Soccer Field. NJCU will enter the game with nine points versus seven for Camden. The winner of the game will be the No. 5 seed in the tournament and travel to face the No. 4 seed in the NJAC Quarterfinals on October 29; either Montclair State University or Richard Stockton College.
NJCU will also celebrate Senior Day and will honor its exceptional senior class that includes Albuja, standout striker Julia Caseres (Union), midfielder Margie Alfano (Randolph/West Orange), and co-captain defenders Erica Buonacquista (Aberdeen/Bayonne) and Nicole Sarica (Linden).
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