The Mustangs women's soccer team defeated the Raritan Valley Community College Golden Lions 5-1 on Wednesday.
After some much needed rest, the Mustangs were revved up to face off against the Golden Lions Wednesday. The team traveled to Branchburg, N.J. where they stepped onto the field with intensity.
From the starting whistle, the Mustangs showed speed, aggression and excellent transition play. Less than 15 minutes into play, the Mustangs notched their first goal of the game off a breakaway shot from freshman forward Mallory Mugnier.
Up 1-0, the Mustangs gained confidence, sending up repeated attacks on the Golden Lions' goal keeper. Eight minutes after the first goal, Mugnier put in her second off a pass from sophomore midfielder Stephanie Martinez.
The visiting team continued to dominate play. With three minutes left in the half, Mugnier send a blazing shot from about 20 yards out. The ball ricocheted off the cross bar and landed at the feet of freshman forward Masumi Pinto. Pinto knocked the ball over to open sophomore teammate Ashley Costa, who tapped it in, putting the Mustangs up by three.
"We played to our potential," said Costa, whose goal was her first of the season. "We didn't let outside factors affect us mentally and that's what helped us get up 3-0 in the first half."
Going into the second half, the Mustangs continued to press the box. Just five minutes into play, freshman midfielder Norma Lopez passed a ball to Mugnier who connected for her third goal of the game. With the hat trick and the team's 4-0 lead secured, Mugnier was subbed out and the Mustangs shifted focus to solidifying the defense.
For the next 35 minutes, the Golden Lions tried time and time again to break through the Mustangs' back line, but could not seem to build any offensive momentum. Freshman defender Taylor Sejda came up big for the Mustangs, repeatedly carrying the ball from the backfield into her team's offensive end.
With just over six minutes left, Sejda again broke away from the backfield to run the ball up the sideline and cross it into the Mustangs' offensive end. Mugnier, who had been sent back into the game in a central midfielder position, grabbed the pass and sent it on net for her fourth and final goal of the game.
"Defensively we held a strong line, allowing us to make runs up the sides," commented Sejda. "We've been trying to make those runs all season and finally in this game it all came together for us."
The Golden Lions were able to break the shut out in the final minutes of the game, but ultimately the Mustangs walked away with the victory.
Mugnier was happy with her performance but contributed the win to the team. "It's my job as a forward to knock in the goals, but the whole team made the win possible by working hard together. It was a real confidence booster for us."
Mustangs Head Coach Tom Haney found his team's performance inspirational. "The entire team put forth an amazing effort. We played a complete game and constantly provided offensive and defensive pressure on the ball."
"This was the first game since the beginning of the season that we played with an appropriate rest period between games," noted Haney. "It showed in their effort and focus throughout the game. It was a great win for our program."