WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Suffolk women's soccer scored twice in the first frame and held off the Blue Jays to take a 2-0 win over Saint Joseph (Conn.) Saturday afternoon at USJ Soccer Field.
SCORE: Suffolk 2 | Saint Joseph (Conn.) 0
RECORDS: Suffolk (9-4-0, 7-3-0 GNAC) | Saint Joseph (Conn.) (10-3-1, 5-3-1 GNAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
USJ had a handful of opportunities first. In the 15th minute, Ariana Gazaferi utilized dribbling skills to escape the Suffolk defenders and had a decent shot on net about 20 yards out, missing wide by only a foot and a half. Minutes later, Jenna Lentini followed firing a cross over the top, but Allison Rodrigues made one of several impressive saves.
After numerous times knocking on the door for USJ, it would be the Rams who would end up scoring first. In the 24th minute Julia Hunt delivered it past Lindsey Montminy on a well-lifted assist from Addisyn Lanza.
Caleigh O'Brien put on the pressure after Suffolk's strike. The junior put a pair of solid shots on the cage, but Montminy made the grab each time. The aggression would not be for nothing though as O'Brien sent a great setup to Liv Hurley. The freshman found the back of the net and the Rams went ahead by two.
The Blue Jays tried to get one back before the first 45 minutes expired. A cross to Maxine Muscatello in the 41st minute went wide life, while a boot from Sierra Romie from 24 yards out was just over the right side of the crossbar and out of play. Both missed chances allowed the Rams to head into the break with the two-goal advantage.
Out of the intermission, USJ continued its comeback attempt and its best two chances came early on. First, O'Neill took a pass from the left to the right to find Muscatello, who sent a header to the middle of the goal, but Rodrgiues' hand smacked it up high enough to send it over the crossbar. Four minutes later, a shot by Gazaferi was met by Rodrigues gloves. The backspin on the ball caused it to stop inches from the goal line, but the Rams defense beat the Blue Jays to the spot and sent it out to safety.
With time dwindling, the Muscatello had another look in the late 83rdminute. She hooked the ball from the right to left, but it fell right into the hands of Rodrigues. A game of physicality ended with a scoreless second stanza.
KEEPING UP WITH THE KEEPERS
- Rodrigues recorded the win with a four-save effort.
- Leto Katsoufis entered the game in relief for the Rams and picked up one save.
- Montminy turned aside five stops in the setback for the Blue Jays.
- Hunt and Hurley each scored one goal for Suffolk, while Lanza and O'Brien both handed out one helper.
- Both teams had 11 shots on the day.
- Suffolk had seven corners compared to USJ's four.
- Suffolk snapped a two-game skid against USJ, defeating the Blue Jays for the first time since 2016 and fourth time overall.
- The Rams moved to 4-8-1 all-time against the Blue Jays.
- Three of Suffolk's four victories over USJ have been cleansheets, all of which were 2-0 decisions (2012, 2016 and 2019).
- With the win, Suffolk moves to 7-3-0 against conference competition marking the first time the blue-and-gold eclipsed the seven-win mark in league action since the 2011 campaign when it went 7-5-1 versus conference foes.
- Suffolk kept an opponent quiet for the seven time this season.
- The seven shutouts are the most for the Rams in a single campaign since 2010 when they matched that number.
- The seven cleansheets tie for second-most in a single-season in program history.
- Rodrigues recorded her seventh shutout of the year which ties Emily Joyce for second all-time in a single-season in program history.
- Rodrigues notched her 11th career shutout, good for third in program history.
- Hunt and Hurley each scored their fourth goals of the season.
- Katsoufis made her first collegiate appearance in net.
Suffolk plays its regular season road finale Wednesday, Oct. 23 when it visits Saint Joseph's (Maine) for a 7 p.m. midweek matchup.