WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) Women's Soccer team got back to their winning ways Wednesday, knocking off the Monks of Saint Joseph's College of Maine (SJC), 1-0, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) contest on the USJ Soccer Field. It marks the first GNAC loss of the season for SJC, while the Blue Jays improve to 4-1-1 in conference play heading into Saturday's showdown with the Sharks of Simmons College.
Freshman midfielder Jenna Zup (Berlin, Conn.) was the difference-maker in this one, taking the conference leader in saves (88) and runner-up in save percentage (.889), senior goalie Adia Grogan (Kennebuck, Maine) by surprise with a fancy free kick goal from about 20 yards out. She caught Grogan out of position, allowing for a strike into the bottom right corner of the cage that hit off Grogan's fingertips and in, sending the Blue Jay faithful into a frenzy. The 11th minute punch turned out to be the game-winner, as the Blue Jays backline, along with the most efficient goalkeeper in the GNAC, sophomore Victoria Schaffner (Waterbury, Conn.), once again kept the best the Monks had to offer in check until the final horn.
Score: Saint Joseph's (Me.) 0, Saint Joseph 1
Records: SJC 6-5-0 (5-1-0 GNAC), USJ 6-1-1 (3-1-1 GNAC)
Location: USJ Soccer Field | West Hartford, Conn.
COACH QUOTE [Jenna Kalwa] "It was all about playing smart, being composed, and staying competitive. Saint Joe's (Maine) is a very respectable opponent. They are quite smart on the ball, and they play very well together. It was important to make sure we were engaged for the entire 90 minutes. We came out strong and focused…key attributes to today's success. Jenna Zup had a beautiful goal for us today. She had her soccer brain on, she recognized what was in front of her and had the motive to be creative. I cannot say enough about Victoria Schaffner. She's our anchor. Defensively it provides us a sense of security for the rest of our backline. We know she's got our back."
- USJ held a 15-9 shots advantage, as well as an edge in corner kicks, 4-2.
- The Blue Jays last played the Monks in the 2019 GNAC Quarterfinals, which SJC won on penalty kicks, 2-2.
- First win over SJC since 2014.
- Zup now has three goals and an assist on the season, totaling seven points, tied for the most on the team (Ursini).
NUMBER TO KNOW
0.15 – With just one goal allowed and a 0.15 Goals Against Average, Schaffner remains the top goalie statistically in the GNAC.
SJC – Grogan (6-4-0) was impressive throughout the contest despite the loss, allowing just the one goal and sending back eight shots in 90 minutes of action. She remains the GNAC leader in saves with 88, 22 more than the next best goalie.
USJ – Schaffner picked up the win (5-1-1) and her conference-leading fifth shutout of the season. She had four saves in the full 90 minutes.
The Blue Jays will look to make it back-to-back wins with another home GNAC Match, this one against the Sharks of Simmons College on Saturday, October 2. Kickoff is expected at 1:00 p.m. on the USJ Soccer Field.
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