WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's soccer team kept it rolling Saturday afternoon, winning its sixth straight match, defeating the visiting Regis College (RC) Pride, 2-1, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) contest on the USJ Soccer Field. With the triumph, the Blue Jays improve to 10-1-0 overall on the season and 5-1-0 in the GNAC, while the Pride drop to 5-6-0 and 2-3-0.
Sophomore midfielder Paola Jimenez (East Hartford, Conn.) was in the right place at the right time, scoring her first career goal in the 79th minute to give the Blue Jays the lead for good. Sophomore midfielder Ali O'Neill (Litchfield, Conn.) scored the game-tying goal in the 52nd minute off superb teamwork from senior midfielder Olivia Norton (Berlin, Conn.) and junior midfielder Melissa Lux (Plainville, Conn.), who each picked up an assist. Sophomore goalie Lindsey Montminy (Vernon, Conn.) secured another win in goal, recording six saves, and allowing just her fifth goal of 2019. No other goalie in the conference has given up less than seven.
Senior Erin Filetti (Newburyport, Mass.) scored for the Pride in the 50th minute after a scoreless first half. Sophomore goalie Angie Caldwell (Goffstown, N.H.) had four saves for Regis in addition to the two allowed goals.
After a scoreless first half, both teams went to work, knowing one goal could decide it. The Pride did not take long, scoring less than five minutes into the second, as Filetti drilled a shot from 25-yards out that hit the bottom of the crossbar, before sneaking into the back of the net past Montminy.
Down 1-0, USJ didn't take long to get that goal back. A corner kick from Lux found Norton, who flicked it toward the far post to O'Neill, who put it past Caldwell to even the match. Despite a scoreless first 45, both teams found the net just seven minutes into half number two.
With the game tied, the pressure continued to mount as the seconds ticked off. It quickly became a game of fouls and subs, as both teams tried to find a rhythm for one more push into the box. The Blue Jays kept knocking on the door as the clock neared the 75th minute. Finally, after three shots and two corner kicks in just over three minutes, USJ was able to break through. A cross into the box from freshman forward Olivia Belcourt (Cromwell, Conn.), who continues her best stretch of play all season, drew out Caldwell (Regis goalie), who punched the ball away, only it landed right at the feet of Jimenez, who netted her first career goal; the game-winning goal.
The Pride launched a final attack in an effort to tie it up, but to no avail, as two late shots went wide, and the Blue Jay defense kept the ball out of the danger zone on RC's final corner kick.
The USJ women's soccer team returns to the pitch for a huge GNAC matchup on Wednesday at Johnson & Wales. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. between the Blue Jays and Wildcats at the Scotts Miracle-Gro Athletic Complex.