New Jersey Copa FC Claims East Conference Top Spot
New Jersey Copa FC of United Women’s Soccer came from behind to edge the Long Island Rough Riders over the weekend at Saint John Vianney High School. NJCFC will host the New England Mutiny this weekend as they seek to record their third consecutive win.
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UWS News: New Jersey Copa FC vaulted to the top of the United Women’s Soccer (UWS) East Conference standings by knocking off the only team they have suffered a defeat against. After the Long Island Rough Riders went ahead early following a defensive mistake, NJCFC convincingly controlled much of the second half of play.
Long Island struck first in the fourth minute when Madison Vasquez picked off an pass from NJCFC goalkeeper Kristyn Shea. Vasquez went into the box uncontested and scored to the far post.
Trailing 1-0 at the half, NJCFC evened the scoreline after a flurry of shots in the 54th minute. Jessica Reinhardt and Krystyna Freda were both denied by Long Island keeper Melissa Guglielmo, but LIRR defense couldn’t clear the ball and Alana O’Neill unleashed a shot from 30 yards that struck the crossbar and bounced across the line to even the match at 1-1.
In the 61st minute, Freda freed herself from two defenders, leading to a breakaway on the left side of the box where she was taken down by Guglielmo. NJCFC was award a penalty kick as Jeanine Nunez recorded her sixth tally of the season.
NJCFC has yet to lose at home and improved to 6-1-1 overall in the 2017 campaign as the defending Eastern Conference champions collected another three points. With 19 points, NJCFC is four points in front of the New England Mutiny (5-2-0, 15 points), its next opponent, with two regular season games to play. New Jersey improved to 7-0-2 all-time at home in its two-year existence as a club.
Long Island allowed just two goals in their first five games of the season before NJCFC doubled that total as they avenged a May 20th road loss versus the Rough Riders.
“I was extremely proud of the group tonight, especially in the second half with their workrate and focus on the tactical changes we made at halftime,” said NJCFC associate head coach Junior Balzarini. “Long Island has been and is a historic club in women’s soccer in this country and for us to get three points against them is another huge step for us in our goal to repeat as Eastern Conference champions.”
Nunez and defenders Sydney Cummings and Rebecca Raber shared Jersey Mike’s Subs/New Jersey Copa FC Women of the Match honors.
NJCFC will be seeking their third consecutive win when they host New England Mutiny on Saturday, July 1, at 4:30 p.m. ET with the conference’s regular season championship at stake.
Photo Credit: New Jersey Copa FC