SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. — The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's soccer team took over midway through the second half, scoring three unanswered goals in 18 minutes to take down Mount Holyoke College (MHC), 3-2, under the lights Wednesday on the Mount Holyoke College Soccer Field.
The Blue Jays bounce back and improve to 5-1-0, while the Lyons drop to 1-4-1, and are dealt their third straight loss. The Blue Jays had a season-high 37 shots, including 10 shots on goal. They also controlled in corner kicks, 8-1. Senior captain and midfielder Olivia Norton (Berlin, Conn.), along with junior midfielder Jenna Lentini (Middletown, Conn.) scored the game-winning and go-ahead goals, respectively, for USJ. An own goal by Mount Holyoke was scored to tie it up 1-1 in the 54th minute, after a Blue Jay header was deflected in by MHC's senior captain and midfielder McKenna Lamb (Redlands, Calif.), who had five of the hosts seven shots on goal. Lamb did all she could for her team though, scoring both goals for the Lyons in defeat.
For the second game in a row, USJ had a decisive advantage in first-half shots, but were unable to get one past sophomore goalie Lea Sleiman (Beirut, Lebanon), who in her collegiate debut posted six of her seven total saves in the first 45 minutes. USJ's best chance of the first half came in the 27th minute, as Sleiman stopped a shot from sophomore midfielder Rylee Snow (West Greenwich, R.I.), but the rebound bounced right to sophomore midfielder Sierra Romie (Newington, Conn.), who settled the ball and rocketed a shot off the post.
The Lyons' best chance came in the 37th minute, as freshman forward Paige Osborne (Philadelphia, Pa.) snuck behind the Blue Jays' backline, but sophomore goalkeeper Lindsey Montminy (Vernon, Conn.) came up with a point-blank save, one of four for her in the first, to keep it a stalemate heading into the break.
The aggression slowly picked up from the get-go in the second stanza, as the Lyons took advantage of a corner kick in the 50th minute. Lamb finally broke the tie with an unassisted goal, sending the crowd into a frenzy. 1-0 MHC.
Down 1-0, the Blue Jays went to work, putting on a scoring clinic as good as we have seen in 2019. The first breakthrough came in the 54th minute off a corner kick from junior midfielder Melissa Lux (Plainville, Conn.). The corner was quickly headed towards the back left corner of the net by a Blue Jay inside the penalty area, before being accidentally deflected in by Lamb for an own goal. Just like that, the score was knotted back up, 1-1.
USJ kept its foot on the gas pedal, scoring twice more in less than three minutes. First, Snow set up Lentini for the score to take a 2-1 lead. Norton appeared to put things away a few minutes later with an unassisted cross-field corner pocket from well beyond the box. 3-1 USJ.
The Lyons would not quit though, as Lamb scored her second goal in the 76th minute, burying a direct free kick from 30-yards out to cut the gap in half, 3-2. The Blue Jay defense closed it out though, as the Lyons could only salvage one shot on goal over the final 14 minutes, the fifth and final from Lamb, which Montminy snatched. This was the second time this season that the Blue Jays scored three straight goals in one half. They won both games.
USJ will continue its three-game road trip with a GNAC matchup at Rivier on Saturday, September 21, at 2:30 p.m.