Blue Jays Soccer Undefeated!
Huge Win Over Lasell
Tiana Saraceno (Plainville, Conn.) scored 10 minutes, 14 seconds into the second half for the only goal and Melissa Dodge (Watertown, Conn.) made nine saves as the University of Saint Joseph defeated Lasell College 1-0 in a showdown of the top two teams in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Monday at Saint Joseph.
In what has been a season of milestones thus far, Monday's win for USJ may have been the biggest in the 18-year history of the program. The Blue Jays improved to 11-1-1 overall, 9-0-1 in the GNAC and opened its lead in the league over second-place Lasell (10-3, 8-2). Saint Joseph had been 1-7-2 in 10 previous meetings with the Newton, Mass. school that is the two-time defending GNAC champ.
One Saint Joseph win in its final two conference games, or two ties or one Lasell loss in its last two conference games would enable the Blue Jays to win their first-ever regular-season GNAC title and be the top seed in the upcoming league tournament that begins Oct. 28.
Saint Joseph also extended its school-record unbeaten streak to 11 games and is 10-0-1 since a season-opening, 1-0 loss to Manhattanville on Aug. 31.
Saint Joseph finally broke through in the 56th minute. Patricia Nolan (Portland, Conn.) played a ball from about 20 yards out at the center of the field, slid a short pass right to a charging Saraceno, who dribbled briefly and fired in a shot to the lower right side of the goal from 15 yards for her fourth goal of the season.
"That was a great college soccer games between two teams who showed why they're ranked where they are," Saint Joseph coach Chris LeGates said. "I'm so proud of the effort they put in to come away with a win against the GNAC champion of the past two years. We do have to keep getting better, because it's only one game, but what a great job and I'm thrilled for them."
Lasell pressed hard in the closing minutes, but Dodge denied every shot that got through to her, earning her sixth shutout of the season and improving her league-leading season totals to a .947 save percentage and a 0.38 Goals Against Average.
The teams ended up even at 12 shots each and Saint Joseph had the only two corner kicks of the game. Leah Pappalardo made five saves in goal for Lasell.
Saint Joseph next plays at Emerson Wed. Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
For a full schedule of athletic events, visit usjbluejays.com.