What a difference a day makes.
In this case, three days.
Less than 72 hours after struggling to do anything right in a lopsided loss to St. Catherine, the Saint Mary’s University women’s soccer team put it all together Sunday afternoon — giving the home crowd more than enough to cheer about — as the Cardinals dealt visiting Gustavus Adolphus College (GAC) a 3-0 setback in SMU’s home finale at Ochrymowycz Field.
With the win, the Cardinals put an end to a nine-game winless streak against the Gusties (0-7-2), dating back to a 1-0, double-overtime win on Sept. 29, 2010.
Jordyn Matthews gave the Cardinal offense an instant boost with her team-leading third goal of the season 14 minutes into the opening half. The Cardinals would maintain that one-goal advantage through the remainder of the first half and the first 22 minutes of the second.
After missing out on two golden scoring changes early in the second half — Mary Loy was robbed by GAC goalkeeper Abby Goodno from point-blank range 10 minutes into the frame, and Goodno made a spectacular diving stop to take a goal away from Kassie Arriaga — Saint Mary’s finally netted goal number two, this one off the foot of Kaley Manglitz in the 67th minute.
Nicole Thompson gave Saint Mary’s a little more breathing room with her first of the season just five minutes after Manglitz’s first tally of the year, pushing the lead to 3-0.
And three goals was more than enough with Alexis Nguyen between the pipes, as the sophomore goalkeeper stopped both GAC shots she faced en route to her first collegiate, complete-game shutout.
The Cardinals (3-2-1 overall) close out their pandemic-shortened season on Friday, traveling to St. Olaf’s Rolf Mellby Field in Northfield, Minn., for a 3:30 p.m. game against the Oles.