WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Senior Patricia Nolan (Portland, Conn.) and sophomore Emily Burke (Windsor Locks, Conn.) each had two goals and an assist as the University of Saint Joseph soccer team defeated Norwich 8-1 Saturday in a GNAC game at St. Joseph.
Saint Joseph finished its regular season 10-4-3 that included 6-2-3 in the GNAC. Norwich finished 1-10 in the GNAC and is 1-15 overall with one non-conference game to play.
The Blue Jays honored their six seniors, Nolan, Courtney Cesca (Winsted, Conn.), Keely Martin (Scotland, Conn.), Nicole Mendelson (Southbury, Conn.), Samantha Prescott (Meriden, Conn.) and Tiana Saraceno (Plainville, Conn.) before they played their last regular-season home game.
The seniors have been a big part of the team's 52-19-8 record the past four years, which includes a 30-3-3 mark at home.
"It's weird, it went by fast," Cesca said. "It feels like just yesterday we were moving in for our first pre-season and now it's almost over. I couldn't have asked for five better classmates. We're close and good friends, not just playing soccer, but hanging out off the field, too. I'm going to miss all of them."
Cesca had a goal and an assist Saturday, Saraceno had a goal and Mendelson an assist. Sophomore Jaclyn Steeves (Everett, Mass.) also had a goal for the Blue Jays.
Saraceno put the Blue Jays on the board, 5:35 into the game when she took an excellent cross at the near-side post from Martin at the right flank and slid it across the goalmouth and inside the left post. St. Joseph was able to get a number of crosses into the box throughout the day as they outshot the Cadets 20-2 in the first half and 34-6 for the game.
Burke scored her first goal at 15:36 to make it 2-0 when she got a cross from Nolan deep in the box and scored from five yards. At 16:42 Sara Barnick (Watertown, Conn.) had Burke lined up in the box for a cross, but the ball bounced off a defender and in for an own goal. Nolan scored from 10 yards off a cross from Burke in the 20th minute and in the 31st minute, Cesca bombed in a direct kick from 30 yards for a 5-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Steeves scored off a cross from Michelle Turkington (Cromwell, Conn.), Burke scored off a corner kick by Mendelson, that was also deflected by Cesca and finally, Nolan scored her team-leading 15th goal of the season off a feed from Dayna Gambino (Newington, Conn.) for an 8-0 lead in the 65th minute.
Norwich got on the board at 74:02 when sophomore Alex Frank (Medford, N.J.) scored an unassisted goal on a 30-yard blast to the upper left corner of the goal. Liz Chapdelaine (Somerset, Mass.) made 12 saves in net for the Cadets while Melissa Dodge (Watertown, Conn.) made four saves for USJ.
Saint Joseph finished fifth in the GNAC standings and will play at No. 4 Emmanuel College in a GNAC Tournament quarterfinal Sat. November 2 at a time to be announced.