STANDISH, Maine – Sophomore Olivia Esposito (North Reading, Mass.) scored five minutes into overtime to lift Saint Joseph's College (3-1) past University of Southern Maine (2-3), 2-1, in a hard fought non-conference field hockey contest at the SJC Athletics Complex on Wednesday night.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Monks grabbed a 1-0 lead at the 9:55 mark when freshman Alexa Gutowski (Conway, N.H.) netted her first collegiate tally off a penalty corner. Sophomore Logan Champlin (Alfred, Maine) was credited with an assist on the play.
The 1-0 edge remained until the opening seconds of the fourth quarter, when Samantha Ellis streaked to the top of the box and roped a shot past SJC junior netminder Alexandria Simpson (Pascoag, R.I.), knotting the game at 1-1.
Saint Joseph's had several scoring chances – and eight penalty corner opportunities – during the fourth frame but failed to convert. As a result, the in-state rivals headed for extra play with a 7v7 10-minute overtime period.
The Huskies carried momentum early in the extra frame and nearly scored on a Dorina Sirois (Saco, Maine) shot in the 62nd minute, but Simpson was up to the task and turned away the attempt.
The momentum then swung in the hosts' favor as St. Joe's maintained possession in the Huskies' defensive end until junior Alexandra Belaire (Greene, Maine) forced a turnover and delivered a slick right-to-left crossing pass to Esposito, who was running towards the left goalpost and smacked a one-timer past USM keeper Lindsay Pych (West Milford, N.J.) for the game-winner. The goal was also the first of Esposito's college career.
Saint Joseph's held advantages in shots (8-6), shots on goal (5-3), and penalty corners (10-3) in the victory.
Simpson recorded two saves for the Monks while Pych posted three stops for the Huskies.
With the triumph Saint Joseph's is now 7-16 all-time versus University of Southern Maine. The Monks have defeated the Huskies in six of the last seven meetings.
Saint Joseph's opens Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play Saturday with a home game versus Regis College. The conference tilt is slated to start at 11:00 AM.