WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Senior midfielder Nicole Mendelson (Southbury, Conn.) set a single-game school record with six assists – four of them on goals by Lindsey Cifaldi (Wolcott, Conn.) – as the University of Saint Joseph soccer team defeated Mount Ida 11-3 Saturday in a wild GNAC game at home.
Cifaldi had by far her best scoring game as the sophomore entered the game with two career goals. She put in a rebound after a Mendelson free kick that went off the crossbar on one goal and cashed in on set pieces for the other three, each time heading in a corner kick from Mendelson.
USJ put up the first two goals quickly. Sara Barnick (Watertown, Conn.) had three first of her three goals, just 3:26 in off a feed from Tiana Saraceno (Plainville, Conn.) Barnick returned the favor 36 seconds later feeding Saraceno for a 2-0 score.
Rachel Reese (Santa Cruz, Cal.) got Mount Ida on the board as 6:24, but Barnick's second at 11:37 made it 3-1. Again the Mustangs pulled within one on a score from Sierra Legge (Schodack Landing, N.Y.), but Cifaldi had her first goal, off a Mendelson corner, and Courtney Cesca (Winsted, Conn.) had a header off a direct kick from Mendelson to put USJ up 5-2 at 19:41. Briana Tomaselli (Warwick, R.I.) closed the first half scoring with a Mount Ida goal at 31:15.
It was all USJ in the second half as the Blue Jays scored six unanswered goals in a 12:02 span. Cifaldi put in a corner from Mendelson and Patricia Nolan (Portland, Conn.) scored her team-leading 12th goal of the season before Mendelson bent in a corner for an 8-3 lead in the 53rd minute. Cifaldi tucked in a rebound off a Mendelson free kick that went off the crossbar at 55:35 and the pair connected for the final time of the day on the familiar corner kick-header combination at 59:24. Barnick's third goal closed the scoring at 62:01.
"Nikki's been great all year long," Saint Joseph coach Chris LeGates said. "Statistically it was a career performance and it's well-deserved and well-earned by her."
Saint Joseph returns to action Mon. October 14 in a GNAC game at Simmons at 1 p.m. Mount Ida hosts Johnson & Wales, also Monday, at noon.