WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Junior Amanda Ghent (Portland, Conn.) recorded her second multi-goal match of the season, finding the back of the net twice, to power the University of Saint Joseph soccer team past the Norwich University Cadets, 3-0, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) match on the USJ Soccer Field Saturday. The victory keeps the Blue Jays unbeaten on the season as they improve to 4-0-1 overall and 3-0-0 in the GNAC, while Norwich slips to 1-4 and 1-2.
USJ drew the first corner kick opportunity 10 minutes into the match and made it count. Senior Jessica Spezzano (Watertown, Conn.) sent a ball into the scoring area and following a scrum inside the box, Ghent would eventually get a clean strike on the ball to beat the Cadets keeper into the right side of the goal for her first marker of the game and to put the Blue Jays up 1-0 at the 10:21 mark.
Norwich's first scoring opportunity came a few minutes later at the 13:50 timestamp when senior Ashley Carvalho (Pinellas Park, Fla.) fired a shot on net, but USJ's sophomore goalkeeper Megan Ricci (Center Moriches, N.Y.) made the stop. Ricci continued her high level of play and denied the Cadets from tying the game in the 34th minute, making a spectacular leaping save off a shot from graduate student Mehgan McMullen (Northfield, Vt.) to preserve the 1-0 USJ lead heading into halftime.
The Blue Jays would then push their lead to 2-0 coming out of the break on Ghent's second goal of the match and sixth of the season. A foul inside box by Norwich's Kate Albretsen (Cotuit, Mass.) would lead to a yellow card and penalty kick opportunity at the 58:51 mark for Ghent, who converted her first PK chance of the season to put USJ up 2-0.
USJ iced the match a few minutes later in the 67th minute when Spezzano blasted a beautiful strike from 25-yards out, up-and-over the Norwich keeper to increase the Blue Jays' lead to 3-0. It marked the fourth goal of the season for the senior.
Ricci would need to make just one more stop along the way to preserve the 3-0 victory and post her third clean sheet of the season. She made a total of six stops on the day and improves her record to 4-0-1 between the pipes for USJ. The Cadets freshman keeper Katie Bishop-Manning (New York, N.Y.) was handed the loss to drop to 0-3-0. She finished with seven saves.
USJ held a 17-12 advantage in shots, including a 10-6 edge in shots on goal. Norwich finished with a slight edge in corner kicks, 6-4.
The Blue Jays will return back to the USJ Soccer Field on Wednesday for their next match when they host GNAC opponent Mount Ida at 4 p.m. Norwich also plays next on Wednesday, but is on the road at Saint Joseph's (Me.) for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff.