NORTHFIELD Vt. - Junior Jessica Spezzano (Watertown, CT/Watertown) netted a pair of goals as the University of Saint Joseph soccer team defeated the Norwich University Cadets, 4-0, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference tilt at Sabine Field on Wednesday evening. With the win the Blue Jays improve to 5-4 overall and 3-1 in the GNAC on the season. Norwich slips to 1-6-1 and 0-4 in the conference with the loss.
The Blue Jays led 1-0 at halftime and then pulled away with three goals in the second half to hand Norwich its fifth straight loss.
Spezzano opened the scoring in the 36th minute with a blast from 25 yards out that beat NU starting goalkeeper Leandra Flores-Nieves over her head. Spezzano received a pass from Annmarie Masayda (Watertown, CT/Home Schooled) and took two dribbles to her right before letting go a strike for her third marker of the season.
Sophomore Sarah Palko (Southington, CT/Southington) then increased the Blue and Gold's lead to 2-0 in the 65th minute with a snipe off the cross bar that caromed into the back of the net from the left side of the penalty box.
Spezzano pushed the lead to 3-0 with her second goal of the game and fourth of the season on a free kick from 25 yards out that she tucked just under the cross bar and over the outstretched hands of Flores-Nieves.
USJ capped the scoring just over a minute later at the 76:57 mark when sophomore Rileigh Luba (Bristol, CT/Bristol Central) scored her first goal of the season.
Senior Mehgan McMullen led Norwich with four shots, but only one was put on frame.
Flores-Nieves made 11 saves in goal fpr the Cadets and dips to 1-5-1 on the year. Freshman Megan Ricci (Center Moriches, NY/Center Moriches) picked up her fourth clean sheet of the year to improve to 5-3-0 while making four saves.
USJ outshot Norwich 34-9 in the game and held a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks.
The Blue Jays now hold a 12-11-1 lead in the all-time series with Norwich and have now won five straight vs. the Cadets.
The USJ soccer team will return to action next on Saturday, Oct. 1 when they host Lasell on the USJ Soccer Field in a GNAC contest that is slated to begin at 1 p.m.