WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Patricia Nolan (Portland, Conn.) and Lindsey Cifaldi (Wolcott, Conn.) scored second-half goals as the University of Saint Joseph defeated Suffolk, 2-0 Wednesday in a wide-open GNAC game at Saint Joseph.
USJ improved to 7-3 overall and 3-1 in the GNAC; Suffolk is 2-7 overall and 2-2 in the GNAC. It was the first meeting of the teams since Suffolk ended USJ's school-record 13-game unbeaten streak Oct. 20, 2012.
St. Joseph outshot Suffolk 26-18 and had more shots on goal, 14-9. The game was played at a fast pace from the start and despite the scoreless 45 minutes, USJ had 11 shots and Suffolk 10 at the break.
"It was a crazy game, very transitional with a lot of back and forth," USJ coach Chris LeGates said. "Their record is very deceiving. That's a good team with a number of very steady players. We just stayed with our game plan and hoped the breakthrough would come."
The breakthrough came 8:34 into the second half when Nolan scored her team-leading 11th goal of the season on a tremendous individual effort. She made a 30-yard run down the middle of the field that included making multiple cutbacks and threading two defender along the way before sliding a low shot in the net from deep in the box.
USJ added its second goal at 57:24. Nicole Mendelson (Southbury, Conn.) lofted an excellent corner kick into the box and Cifaldi headed it in with the ball bouncing off the lower edge of the crossbar and over the goal line. It was Cifaldi's first goal of the season.
"We've worked so much on set pieces, so I was happy to see Lindsey finally get a goal off that," LeGates said. "And Patty's workrate on her goal was outstanding."
USJ goalkeeper Melissa Dodge (Watertown, Conn.) made nine saves for her fifth shutout of the season. Suffolk keeper Melissa Brouillette (Shelton, Conn.) made 12 saves.
USJ plays next plays Saturday Oct. 5 at Lasell at 1 p.m.