FRANKLIN, Mass. - The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's soccer team scored four first-half goals to defeat the Dean College Bulldogs, 4-0, on the road Sunday afternoon on Lippert Field at the Longley Athletic Complex in Franklin, Mass. The win improves the Blue Jays to 2-0-0 on the season, while the Bulldogs slip to 0-2-0. The USJ women's soccer team returns back to the pitch next on Tuesday for its home opener at 4:00 p.m. versus MCLA.
The Blue Jays wasted little time getting to work against the Bulldogs finding the back of the net just 2:51 into the contest. Graduate senior and 2017 All-GNAC first teamer Jessica Spezzano (Watertown, Conn.) settled a pass from sophomore midfielder Melissa Lux (Plainville, Conn.) and fired it past the Bulldogs' keeper for what would be the game-winner in the early parts of the match.
USJ kept its foot on the pedal, accounting for the first six shots (four on goal) and four corner kicks of the match spanning the opening 14:04 of play. That sixth shot would extend the Blue Jays' lead to 2-0. This time, Lux found senior forward Sarah Palko (Southington, Conn.) who beat Dean's netminder in the 15th minute.
Saint Joseph would break through once again in the first half at the 27:02 mark. Junior midfielder Olivia Norton (Berlin, Conn.) found herself behind the Bulldogs' back line of defense and converted the 1-v-1 opportunity into the back of the net to push the Blue Jays' advantage to 3-0.
Dean nearly got on the board in the 31st minute in what was one of its best scoring opportunities of the first half. A Bulldogs' corner kick resulted in back-to-back shots from freshman Miranda Seacord (Cambridge, N.Y.) and classmate Lindsay Shannon (Plymouth, Mass.), but USJ's junior goalkeeper Megan Ricci (Center Moriches, N.Y.) preserved the lead and denied the Bulldogs on each occasion.
The Blue Jays would strike back and increased their lead to 4-0 just before the halftime horn in the 42nd minute. Sophomore midfielder Alyssa Fecko (Stafford, Conn.) took USJ's sixth corner kick of the match and found the head of freshman defender Caitlyn Mayhew (Meriden, Conn.), whose header attempt caromed off the crossbar. Thankfully, classmate Victoria Piechota (New Britain, Conn.) was there to clean things up and grabbed the rebound and slid it into the back of the net for her first career goal as a Blue Jay.
That would round out the scoring for the match as the Blue Jays preserved their 4-0 lead throughout the entire second half.
Ricci picked up the shutout win between the pipes to improve her record to 2-0-0 and post her second clean sheet in as many games of the 2018 season. She finished the match with six saves, including two in the second half. Junior Macy Parisee (East Freetown, Mass.) was dealt the loss for Dean surrendering four goals in 45 minutes of action. She finished with five saves before being lifted for freshman Jennifer Jacovino (Monroe, Conn.) who made six saves in the second half.
USJ dominated the possession all game and finished with a 34-8 advantage in shots, including a 15-6 edge in shots on goal. They also held a 10-1 advantage in corner kicks.
- Four different Blue Jays scored in the opening 45 minutes of action to account for all of the scoring.
- Lux assisted on the first two goals, finding Spezzano in the third minute and Palko in the 15th minute.
- Spezzano's goal marks the 18th tally of her career as she begins her third year at USJ after transferring from SCSU.
- USJ outshot Dean 16-5 and held a 7-1 edge in corner kicks.
- Ricci made two saves to preserve the 4-0 win as neither team found the back of the net.
- Jacovino stopped six USJ shots on goal for the Bulldogs.
- USJ outshot Dean 18-3 and held a 3-0 edge in corner kicks.
The USJ women's soccer team returns back to the pitch next on Tuesday for its home opener at 4:00 p.m. versus MCLA.