By Jeffery Cool, Guest Writer
On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, the Jaspers gave us something to be happy about, snapping a four game losing streak with a 1-0 win over the NJIT Highlanders.
The Jaspers were coming off of a four game losing streak where they were shutout in each of those losses. Manhattan was ready for a battle against NJIT, whose record was 4-1-2.
The Jaspers won this defensive game 1-0 at Gaelic Park, improving their record on the season to 2-5-0.
“The mindset of fighting for loose balls and win loose balls. We trained hard all week, trying to combine off of each other and get in behind, and we were able to implement that game plan very well,” Brendan Lawler, head coach of Manhattan said about the keys to victory.
The Jaspers dominated the first half and looked bound to take the lead when Nicole Copping, a sophomore midfielder, caught a break in the box and shot one right off of the crossbar. Late in the first half, NJIT looked to take a 1-0 lead off of a header from a corner but the goal was waved off leading to a scoreless game at half.
The start of the the second half was more of an even game between the Jaspers and the Highlanders with momentum swinging in both directions. NJIT started to apply pressure later on in the second half. Olivia Printy, a freshman goalkeeper for the Jaspers, stood on her head facing multiple shots in a span of a few minutes. She finished the game with a six save shutout.
Shortly after Manhattan looked like they were going to give up a goal, Emma Saul, a sophomore forward for the Jaspers, made a nifty move to give herself space in the box and bolted one into the top left corner, giving Manhattan a 1-0 lead in the 71st minute.
“It was huge, putting it in the back of the net and knowing that we ended the streak,” Saul said about ending the Jaspers’ four game goalless drought. “It feels pretty good to look up and see my coach smiling.”
Saul’s goal was all the Jaspers needed to claim victory over NJIT. The 1-0 win was the first shutout of the season for the Jaspers.
“We just keep building on it, just keep doing more of the same and doing it more consistently while executing a little bit sharper, but the game plan will stay the same,” Lawler said about what the Jaspers need to do to translate this victory into a winning streak.
The Jaspers will look to string another victory together when they return to action and open up their MAAC play against Niagara this Saturday at Gaelic.