PORTLAND, ME – Saint Joseph's College (1-0) defeated Salve Regina University (0-1), 1-0, in the opening match of the 2011 Southern Maine Husky Fall Classic at Deering Memorial Field on Friday afternoon. Sophomore forward Zach Johnson (Westbrook, Maine) scored the game's lone goal in the 50th minute to propel the Monks to victory in what was the 2011 season-opener for both sides.
After a scoreless opening half that saw the Seahawks outshoot the Monks by an 8-3 margin, Johnson converted a pass to the back post along the six-yard box from classmate Ross Suleski (Amesbury, Mass.) for the only score of the match.
SJC sophomore goalkeeper Kenny Grade (Hampton, N.H.) made five saves, including three big stops in the opening 45 minutes on attempts by Seahawks senior Sean McAllister (North Arlington, N.J.), to record the first shutout of his career in his first collegiate start.
Both sides had good scoring opportunities over the final 40 minutes, but solid play by Grade and Salve netminder Kyle Kureczka (Berlin, Conn.) kept the margin at one. Kureczka twice foiled Suleski, who was sent in on clear breakaway on one occasion, while Grade preserved the lead with a stop on rookie Kyle Knoth (East Islip, N.Y.) off a free kick bid.
St. Joe's and Salve Regina had never met on the soccer pitch before this afternoon. The Monks have now won three consecutive season-openers and hold an 8-11-3 record on in the history of the program on opening day.
The invitational tourney resumes tomorrow when Saint Joseph's plays M.I.T. at 3:45 PM at Deering. Salve Regina will face Southern Maine in the final game of the tournament at 5:45 PM tomorrow.
THANKS IN PART TO SOUTHERN MAINE SPORTS INFORMATION