WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) field hockey team won back-to-back matches for the first time in program history, securing a 4-0 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) match over the Bulldogs of Dean College, on the USJ Field Hockey Field Wednesday afternoon.
The Blue Jays, fresh off their dominant 11-1 victory Monday over Albertus Magnus, scored a goal in each period, and had a level of aggression not yet seen in their maiden season. The ball remained in a scoring position for the Blue Jays the majority of the contest, as junior midfielder Makenzie Dinger (Hingham, Mass.) and senior defender Nina Lestrud (Torrington, Conn.) connected on first-half goals. Dinger's goal came on a rebound after sophomore goalie Mackenzie Fillion (New Bedford, Mass.) made a save for Dean. Dinger collected the ball with her stick and fired with her back to the goal, the ball slamming into the corner of the cage for the game's first point. Momentum stayed on the Blue Jays' side as Lestrud connected in the 16th minute on a great find from freshman defender Megan Strzepa (New Hartford, Conn.). It was more of the same for USJ in the second half, with goals from senior midfielder and captain Taya Valdez (East Lyme, Conn.) and senior defender Maeve Foley (Wethersfield, Conn.), who netted her first-career goal and added an assist on the day.
Score: Dean 0, Saint Joseph 4
Records: Dean 1-8 (1-4 GNAC), USJ 3-6 (2-3 GNAC)
Location: USJ Field Hockey Field | West Hartford, Conn.
PLAYER QUOTE [Maeve Foley] "It felt great. For field hockey a lot of our work comes from behind the scenes, before the goal, because it is so hard to get a goal. We really have been hungry for a win. We finally got our first GNAC win Monday, we got another win tonight…I don't think we are going to stop."
COACH QUOTE [Karen Nell] "We changed the roster around a bit, and put people in different positions that made it a little bit more aggressive, including some defenders into attacking positions to get a little more power up front. We changed our whole philosophy on the way we were attacking the game. As a team, we really pulled together. That's been the unique part of the season, being able to play in positions you're not used to, but doing whatever it takes to make the team better."
- Fifth goal of the season for Dinger, who leads the team. Foley added a team-best third assist in addition to her first career goal, tied for the most with teammate and freshman Morgan Rhoades (Windsor, Conn.).
- USJ has outscored their opponents 15-1 over the last two contests.
- The Blue Jays doubled up the Bulldogs in the shot department, 21-10.
- First back-to-back wins in program history.
NUMBER TO KNOW
4 – First time the Blue Jays have scored a goal in every period of a match in team history.
DEAN – Fillion was busy in goal for the Bulldogs, allowing four goals but making nine saves in a 60-minute losing effort (1-8).
USJ – Sophomore goalie and captain Wendy Bowden (Old Saybrook, Conn.) picked up the win (2-5) and her first career shutout. She had four stops in 60 minutes of action.
The Blue Jays start a two-game road trip with a visit first to the Wildcats of Johnson & Wales University. That GNAC match will be on Saturday, October 9 at 4:00 p.m.
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