WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's soccer team secured its home opener in dominant fashion, trouncing the Trailblazers of MCLA, 6-0, in a non-conference contest on the USJ Soccer Field. The Blue Jays are just the third USJ soccer team in the last decade to start 4-0, and the first to do it without allowing a goal.
Prior to the match, Blue Jays' Head Coach Jenna Kalwa was honored at midfield by Athletic Director Amanda Devitt on winning her first-career collegiate soccer match on September 1. Kalwa received the game ball from game one in recognition of the honor.
USJ got off to a stellar start behind some fancy footwork from freshman midfielder Jenna Zup (Berlin, Conn.), who netted two goals and assisted on another in the first half to give USJ a commanding 5-0 halftime lead. Zupp was part of a trio of Blue Jays to score their first-career collegiate goal Tuesday night. That listed also included sophomore midfielder Marisa Brough (Cheshire, Conn.), and junior defender Elizabeth Garlock (Meriden, Conn.). Freshman forward Kelsi Ursini (Groton, Conn.) and junior forward Maxine Muscatello (Berlin, Conn.) were on point throughout also, with Ursini finding the back of the net for a team-high third goal of 2021, while Muscatello utilized her ability to change speeds at will to set up teammates for success.
Score: MCLA 0, Saint Joseph 6
Records: MCLA (0-4), USJ (4-0)
Location: USJ Soccer Field | West Hartford, Conn.
PLAYER QUOTE [Jenna Zup on her performance and scoring her first-ever goal] "It was a great experience. We've been working hard at practice on keeping possession and finishing, and we were able to get it done tonight."
COACH QUOTE [Jenna Kalwa on the win and celebrating first career win September 1st] "I didn't see it coming. I really appreciate everyone that put it together and for Amanda [Devitt, USJ Athletic Director] for acknowledging that. It feels very welcoming…We came into this game with an objective. Possession, team building, all of those things…and we did accomplish it, all while making sure we still played the Blue Jay way: Fast, but not forcing the ball, and taking our opportunities when we can get them."
- First six-goal game since 2018 (Anna Maria W, 9-0).
- The Blue Jays are the only remaining undefeated team in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC).
- Three players scored their first-career goal.
- USJ outshot the Trailblazers, 22-7, and held an all-important 6-1 edge in corner kicks.
- Just nine fouls called in 90 minutes.
NUMBER TO KNOW
0 – The Blue Jays are the only team in the GNAC to not allow a goal this season. 360 straight minutes of shutout soccer. That's the longest such streak for women's soccer since 2019, but the first team in over a decade to do it to start a season.
USJ – Sophomore Victoria Schaffner (Waterbury, Conn.) picked up the win (3-0) and another shutout, making two saves in 45 minutes. Senior captain Lindsey Montminy (Vernon, Conn.) added a save in a scoreless second half.
MCLA – Junior Mady Breese (Bennington, Vt.) took the loss (0-3) allowing five goals in 45 minutes of action. She also made eight big saves. Junior Jillian Currier (Troy, N.Y.) allowed a goal and made a save in 45 minutes, playing the full second half.
The Blue Jays will be back home again, this time for their first home GNAC match of 2021, taking on the Wildcats of Johnson & Wales University on Saturday, September 18. Kickoff is expected at 12:00 p.m.
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