GALLOWAY — When senior striker Julia Caseres (Union) scored a game-tying goal in the 71st minute off a feed from senior striker Jennifer Albuja (Union City /Hoboken), the Gothic Knights were back in contention in their women’s soccer New Jersey Athletic Conference Quarterfinal game against Richard Stockton College. But 30 seconds later, the Ospreys went back on top after an own goal and scored four times in a span of 8:16 to break open the game before eliminating NJCU, 5-2, on Sunday afternoon at G. Larry James Stadium.
It was the second consecutive season that Stockton hosted NJCU in the NJAC Quarterfinals in the #5 vs. #4 matchup of the tournament and for the second straight year, the Ospreys advanced, improving to 12-5-4 while remaining unbeaten in eight in a row. NJCU fell to 13-7, while making the second NJAC Tournament appearance in program history. The game was a make-up from a snow/rainout on Saturday.
Stockton, which also defeated NJCU in the regular season meeting in Jersey City on October 1 (3-0), leads the all-time series, 19-0. Stockton had a 19-11 edge in shots; the hosts were whistled for 10 offsides. The Ospreys won last year’s NJAC Tournament game in Galloway, prevailing 1-0.
NJCU will wait for the announcement of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Metro Tournament bracket on November 7 to see if its season will continue in a post-season tournament for the third year in a row. With the win, the Ospreys advanced to face top-seeded Rowan in the NJAC semifinals on Nov.1 at 7 pm.
Caseres scored the 20th goal of the season and 98th of her career—the fourth time in her career she has scored at least 20 goals in a season—and Albuja netted two assists—her ninth and 10th of the season.
The tandem moved into second place in Division III history with a combined 430 points—185 goals and 61 assists—and now stand just one shy of equaling the all-time record of 432 points set from 1989-93 by Kalamazoo College. Caseres moved into 15th place in Division III history with 237 points and tied for 16th with 98 goals.
Senior midfielder Margie Alfano (Randolph /West Orange) netted her first goal of the season in the 85th minute for NJCU’s second goal.
Stockton sophomore forward Jessica Balnis (Dorothy /Buena) led Stockton with two goals to bring her team-leading total to nine on the season. Senior midfielder Brianna DeStefano (Williamstown,) and junior midfielder Rachel Carlson (Mullica Township /Oakcrest) each scored for the Ospreys.
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