FRANKLIN, Mass. – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's soccer team earned its 12th win of 2021 in its regular season finale Thursday, a 4-2 win over the Bulldogs of Dean College (DEAN), in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) road match held at Grant Field. With the victory, first-year head coach Jenna Kalwa and the Blue Jays clinched the four seed in the upcoming GNAC Tournament, and will host their first playoff match since 2012. It's also the 21st consecutive postseason appearance, the longest streak by any program in school history.
Sophomore forward Riley Jackson (Newington, Conn.) led the way for USJ on Thursday with her first-career multi-goal game. Junior forward Maxine Muscatello (Berlin, Conn.), the Blue Jays leading scorer on the season, scored her sixth goal of 2021. She also recorded two assists; one to Jackson, and the other to sophomore forward Molly Hussey (Beacon Falls, Conn.), whose 86th minute goal served as the exclamation point in the win. Hussey scored her first career goal in her first career game; she's the sixth Blue Jay to do that in the last 10 seasons, and the second in 2021 (Gabriella Gulino).
USJ was in control of this one from the start, outshooting the Bulldogs, 25-3. The hosts never quit though, actually tying the game in the 54th minute, as freshman Jasmine Sztyler-Mage (Burlington, Conn.) scored her second straight goal and fifth of the year. It looked as though the Bulldogs had enough momentum to steal the contest on their home field. USJ stayed after it though, and some three minutes later, found the back of net to take the lead for good. It was Jackson's second goal of the contest.
Score: Saint Joseph 4, Dean 2
Records: USJ 12-3-1 (9-3-1 GNAC), Dean 3-9-3 (3-9-1 GNAC)
Location: Grant Field | Franklin, Mass.
COACH QUOTE [Jenna Kalwa] "Last night's performance confirmed what we've been striving for all year; we wanted to host a GNAC Tournament game. We've just been taking it one game at a time. To overcome the obstacles and adversity thrown at us this season, and to come out as well as we have, it speaks volumes to the fight of this team. It took all 21 players to get us here. It's a great feeling, and all of these student-athletes deserve the recognition and reward for making history."
The Blue Jays will prepare for the GNAC Quarterfinals, which they will host on Saturday, October 30. The fourth-seeded Blue Jays will take on their long-time Connecticut rivals, the fifth-seeded Falcons of Albertus Magnus College, at 7:00 p.m. under the lights of the USJ Soccer Field.
Follow USJ Athletics
For the latest on University of Saint Joseph athletics, follow the Blue Jays on social media on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.