NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Monroe College women's soccer team got off to an auspicious start in defense of their national championship with a 5-2 victory over #11 Moraine Valley, in the opening round of the NJCAA National Championship in Melbourne, Florida, on Tuesday. Aline Delima scored twice in the win.
Monroe came out aggressively and as per normal, attacked with pressure early. They dominated play and kept the ball in the Moraine Valley side of the field for much of the first half. In fact, Moraine Valley didn't get a shot on goal until the second half. The defense back line of Marta Turmo, Ana Hess, Elysa Virella and Gabriella Braga and were so dominant that Monroe keeper, Tiffany Martinez didn't touch the ball until the 38:55 mark of the first half, when a pass was played back to her.
The Mustangs got on the board in the second minute of action. Off a steal, Aline Delima had the ball on the left side of the box. She sprinted, slammed on the brakes, let the defender go by and beat the goalie on a line drive inside the far post. This was the 21st goal of the season for the sophomore.
Kathellen Sousa made it 2-0 at 5:59 when Gabrielle Braga placed a cross into the box from the right side. The ball was loose and Sousa blasted it past the goalie to the left corner of the goal. Monroe was up 2-0 in the first six minutes of action.
The score went to 3-0 on a gorgeous feed through the middle by Delima to Bruna Tavarez who scoresd to the keeper's left. The pass by Delima was a grounder that split two defenders up the middle and found the foot of Tavarez who was onside. She turned and shot the ball past the diving goalie.
The Mustangs weren't done scoring yet. Ahead 3-0 late in the half, Maia Williams flicked the ball from one side of the box to the other, where Nicole Rivera calmly found the back of the net with her shot in the 38th minute. Monroe led 4-0 with inside of seven minutes left.
The final goal of the half came when Emma Smith was rewarded for her customary hustle and scrappiness. The freshman caromed in a loose ball. She crossed it to the far end of the box where Delima leaped and headed it off the goalie's fingertips into the net. The Mustangs led 5-0 at the intermission.
Moraine Valley got a pair of late goals from Maribella Rodriguez in the second half to make the score 5-2, but the Mustangs shut the door for the rest of the half and won the game, 5-2. Monroe outshot Moraine Valley 21-4 and took nine corner kicks with surrendering any.
Monroe returns to action on Wednesday, November, 18 when they face #2 Tyler Junior College at 3:00 PM. The winner of that game will advance to the next round.