NASHUA, N.H. – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's soccer team scored a pair of goals in the opening 7:08 of action and cruised to victory, defeating the Rivier University Raiders, 2-0, on the road Saturday in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) match at Joanne Merrill Field. With the win, the Blue Jays improve to 6-1-0 overall on the season and 1-1-0 in the GNAC, while the Raiders slip to 2-2-2 and 0-1-1.
Saint Joseph jumped on the board almost immediately as freshman Olivia Belcourt (Cromwell, Conn.) received a pass from sophomore Rylee Snow (West Greenwich, R.I.) and buried it into the net just 2:19 into the contest to give the visitors an early 1-0 edge. The Blue Jays then doubled their lead just minutes later as Snow logged a goal of her own to push USJ's lead to 2-0 at the 7:08 mark.
After a failed clear by the Raiders in their own defensive zone, sophomore defender Jenna Banta (Montville, Conn.) played the ball back in toward the penalty area. It caromed off a Raider defender and fell at the feet of sophomore midfielder Paola Jimenez (East Hartford, Conn.) near the top of the 18-yard box. Jimenez instinctively laid a touch-pass sideways to Snow, who was right next to her, and Snow ripped a rocket into the top left corner of the net past the diving Rivier goalkeeper. It marked the team-leading fourth goal of the year for Snow, who factored in both goals on the day for USJ, and she now also leads the team in points on the year with 10.
The early goals by the Blue Jays would prove to be more than enough as their back line held strong all game allowing just two shots to the Raiders. Sophomore goalkeeper Lindsey Montminy (Vernon Conn.) handled both shots easily and the Blue Jays cruised to their first GNAC victory of the season, 2-0.
Rivier's senior goalkeeper Kasey Smith (Hopkinton, N.H.) made eight saves on the afternoon in the setback and falls to 1-2-2 on the season. Montminy finished with a pair of saves to improve to 5-1-0 and post her second shutout of the season.
The Blue Jays controlled the pace and possession throughout the majority of the match and held sizeable advantages in shots, 12-2, and shots on goal, 10-2. USJ also won the corner kick battle, 9-2.
USJ will conclude a three-game road trip with a GNAC matchup at Lasell on Wedneday, September 24. Kick off between the Blue Jays and Lasers is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on Taylor Field.