Added this fall, the women's soccer team is the 13th varsity sport for the athletic program entering its second season of full NCAA Division III membership. Men's soccer was added last season and competed as a co-ed squad with six women from the current Lady Bears roster.
It didn't take long for St. Joseph's to find the back of the net as freshman midfielder Pam Chernyakhovsky of Brooklyn scored the game-winner in the 3rd minute off a set piece from a corner kick set up by sophomore Melissa Maloy.
The Lady Bears carried the 1-0 lead into halftime and applied the pressure throughout the contest finishing with a 10-5 advantage in shots.
St. Joseph's added an insurance goal in the 61st minute as Sabrina Gargano sent a long through-ball up the middle that sprung Cynthia Gambino for a breakaway goal. Brooklyn native Gambino, the lone female to tally a goal for the co-ed men's team last season, finished with five shots (three on goal).
Freshman and Bayside High School graduate Daniella Valencia tacked on the final goal in the 90th minute off an assist by Christina Abbate. Aided by her strong defense that surrendered only five shots, Nicole Farinella made two saves for the shutout win.
The Lightning, who are also playing in their first season of women's soccer, were led by Samantha Dias who recorded both shots on goal and Mayra Shuguli who made three saves in defeat.
The Lady Bears continue their inaugural season on the road on Thursday, September 13, taking on borough rival Brooklyn College at 5 p.m.