Gothic Knights attack breaks out, women’s football wins in season opener
JERSEY CITY, NJ – The University of New Jersey City women’s soccer team exploded for 10 goals this afternoon, September 2, against the Yeshiva Maccabees to win the season opener for the first time since 2013. The Gothic Knights dominated from start to finish, as their relentless defense didn’t allow a single shot in 90 minutes at Caven Point. On the other side of the field, the offense took care of a scorching 61 shots, which tied the 2009 team record for the second most shots ever made in a game. The head coach Antoine Tusta found success with new team members, as six of the seven players who scored a goal today also made their NJCU debuts. After leading Jersey City in goals last season, the junior forward Kim Brites (Carteret, NJ/Carteret) wasted no time scoring his first two goals of the season.
NJCU (1-0-0, 0-0) was on the attack from the first whistle, wasting no time to edge out the Maccabees. Leading the first offensive strike was the junior transfer Hailey Goncalves (Union, NJ/Union). The midfielder fell in the middle of the Yeshiva defense and netted a perfect pass from Brites, just 1:22 into the game. After the quick goal, freshman striker Jessica Digristina (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) made his felt debut, sending a loose ball past the goalie at 6:31 to extend Gothic Knight’s lead, 2-0. Just 22 seconds later, Digristina sent Brites into midfield, and the former All-NJAC showed off her footwork skills by getting past the Maccabee defense and scoring the goal.
With the defense of the senior captain Arame Diouf (Weehawken, NJ/Memorial)second Brianna Eckel-Cifrese (East Windsor, NJ/Hightstown) and freshman Katie Kelly (Secaucus, NJ/Secaucus) stopping any offensive momentum from Yeshiva, NJCU managed to score another goal before the halftime break. Scoring the first of two goals in his NJCU debut was the freshman midfielder Nyrohah Alvarenga (North Bergen, NJ/High Tech)putting a ball into the net from the senior captain’s corner Michelle Taras (Newark, NJ/Newark East Side). This gave the Gothic Knights a comfortable 4-0 lead going into the second half.
Over the next 45 minutes, the Gothic Knights were even more dominant and persistent on both sides of the pitch. Taking advantage of a Maccabee error, Brates pushed in his second goal of the afternoon from a penalty, giving him 11 goals since the start of the 2021-22 season. The Jersey City team ran away with the game in the second half, scoring four goals in the space of seven minutes. To start the straight for the team, Alvarenga made an impressive play to score his second goal of the day. After the Yeshiva goalie knocked the ball out of the area, the rookie kicked the ball in the air and gave NJCU a 6-0 lead.
Continuing to make the most of their early opportunities in the green and gold, the freshman duo of Ariana Flores-Ortiz (Little Falls, NJ/Passaic Valley Regional) and Rebecca Lopez (Mountain View, CA/Mountain View) both collected their first career goals. Flores-Ortiz took advantage of a header pass from the junior striker Shea Ramirez (Bogota, NJ/Immaculate Conception), hitting the goal inside the box. Soon after, Lopez from nearly 20 yards snatched a goal into the top right corner of the net for NJCU to extend their lead to 8-0. After Digristina captured his second goal of the afternoon, the rookie Natalia Jaramillo (Bergenfield, NJ/Bergenfield) ended the afternoon with his first career goal, a deep cross that found the back of the net. With the Gothic Knights’ defense stifling, the Maccabees couldn’t make a comeback, allowing NJCU to take the home win 10-0, respectively.
Up next: The New Jersey City University women’s soccer team will be looking to keep that momentum going as they quickly return to the field tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. for a non-conference matchup with Mount Saint Vincent at Caven Point.