HOLMDEL, N.J. — New Jersey Copa FC vaulted to the top of the United Women’s Soccer East Conference standings by knocking off the only team in the conference to which is suffered a loss.
Copa rallied from a one-goal deficit to register a 2-1 win over the Long Island Rough Riders at Saint John Vianney High School Sunday.
Alana O’Neill’s strike tied the game in the 54th minute before a Jeanine Nunez penalty kick put Copa out in front.
NJCFC has never lost at home and improved to 6-1-1 this season as the defending conference champions climbed four points in front of the field in the conference. NJCFC is four points in front of the New England Mutiny (5-2-0, 15 points), its next opponent, with two regular-season games left. New Jersey improved to 7-0-2 all-time at home in its two-year existence.
Long Island (4-1-1, 13 points), had allowed only two goals in its first five games of the season before NJCFC doubled that total as it avenged a May 20 road loss to 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,” associate head coach JR Balzarini said. “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.”
NJCFC will seek its third consecutive win when it hosts New England Saturday at 4:30 p.m. with the conference’s regular season championship potentially at stake.