WEST WINDSOR, N.J. — New Jersey Copa FC won its first game of the season, recording a 2-0 victory over the Worcester Smiles in a United Women’s Soccer game at Mercer Community College Saturday night.
New Jersey Copa (1-1-1), which enjoyed a sizable possession advantage, outshot Worcester (1-4-0), 25-3 and peppered 14 shots on net. Adelphi University product Jeanine Nunez produced a game-high six shots, with three on goal, including the game-winner late in the 24th minute. Nunez was named woman of the match.
Mallensy Vargas, a standout at New Jersey City University, entered the game in the 54th minute and needed only 6:37 to register her first goal as a UWS player, when she scored in the 60th minute. Farrell Pomponio (GCU) and Katarina Nilsson (Northeastern) each contributed their first assists this season.
Christina Rodgers (Providence), Sydney Cummings (Brown/Guyanese WNT), Alana O’Neill (Syracuse) and Mackenzie Meixner (Iona) each played a full 90-minutes of smothering defense. Goalkeeper Andrea Leitner (Albany) made two saves in 81:36 before leaving the game.
NJCFC remained undefeated all-time in 12 regular-season home games in its three-year history, outscoring opponents 28-6.
Worcester keeper Brittany Henderson (Loyola-Maryland) made 12 saves under constant pressure.
NJCFC got on the board in the 24th minute when Pomponio curled a cross from deep on the right side onto the head of Nunez, in stride, on the left side of the penalty mark. With the keeper coming at the ball, Nunez headed it beyond her reach into the far upper side for her second goal this season.
Teamwork put the game away in the 61st minute. Vargas and Nilsson, who both entered the game as reserves, combined for a give-and-go at the top of the box, resulting in Vargas sliding around the keeper and center back for a wide open look, blasting a shot high into the net.
New Jersey Copa FC departs on a two-game trip to western New York when it will face the Western New York Flash and the Rochester Lady Lancers June 16 and 17, respectively.