PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The fourth-seeded University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's soccer team's postseason run came to an end, falling in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Semifinals, 3-0, to top-seeded Johnson & Wales University (JWU) Wednesday evening at the Scotts Miracle-Gro Athletic Complex (The SMAC). The loss ends the season for the Blue Jays who finish the 2021 campaign 13-4-1 overall. It marks the most wins in a season for the Blue Jays since the 2012 season.
The Blue Jays were able to keep the Wildcats at bay in the first half, playing to a scoreless 0-0 draw over the first 45 minutes of action, but JWU broke the game open 3:19 seconds into the second half to take a lead that they would hold onto for the remainder of regulation. The deadlock was broken when JWU's freshman Emily DeRoehn (Old Lyme, Conn.) latched onto a corner kick sent in from junior Jordan Restivo (Utica, N.Y.), heading into the back of the net to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
JWU added two more goals in quick succession later in the second half to account for the final margin. The first came when sophomore Trina Capezza (Coventry, R.I.) pounced on a loose ball near the USJ box. Capezza fired a cross that took a deflection on the way through, but Restivo headed into the back of the net for the second goal.
The third goal came just a minute later when sophomore Hayley Viebrock (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) was through on goal and forced the goalkeeper into a save. Sophomore Angelina Carrion (Hackensack, N.J.) passed the rebound back into Viebrock, who slotted it home to extend the JWU advantage.
JWU held a heafty advantage on the stat sheet on the night, finishing with a 26-1 margin in shots, including an 11-0 mark in shots on goal. The Wildcats also held a sizeable edge in corner kicks, 11-0, all coming in the second stanza. USJ sophomore netminder Victoria Schaffner (Waterbury, Conn.) did everything she could to give the Blue Jays a fighting chance, registering eight saves on the night. She concludes the 2021 season 12-4-1 in her first year as the Blue Jays' primary stopper. JWU's Carly McCrumb (Grandville, Mich.) earned the win between the pipes for the hosts.
Score: #4 Saint Joseph 0, #1 Johnson & Wales 3
Records: USJ 13-4-1, JWU 16-3-2
Location: The SMAC | Providence, R.I.
Notes: GNAC Semifinals
COACH QUOTE [Jenna Kalwa] "Regardless of the scoreboard tonight, this team won in my eyes. We can all walk away feeling very accomplished this season. To keep a very good opponent like JWU scoreless for 165-plus minutes this season, showcases the grit this team has. I have never seen this much heart, trust, and belief in itself from a team before. All year we have been saying "play for the person next to you", and every training session and game this team has. We have grown so much since I first met this team on the first day of preseason this year and words can't describe how proud and thankful I am for each member of this team. It's a very special group of people. Thank you to our seniors Jenna Banta, Emily Remicio, Ariana Gazaferi, Lindsey Montminy, and Ali O'Neill for their years of commitment, and providing leadership to this program."
With the win, Johnson & Wales advances to the GNAC Championship game looking to defend its 2019 title and will host second-seeded Lasell University in the 2021 championship bout at The SMAC on Saturday. Lasell defeated third-seeded Saint Joseph's College of Maine, 2-0, in the other semifinal Wednesday night to set up a rematch from the 2017 GNAC Championship game between the Wildcats and Lasers. For University of Saint Joseph, the loss signals the end of the 2021 campaign which they finish 13-4-1 overall.