STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's (3-2, 1-1 GNAC) suffered a 2-1 overtime setback at the hands of Albertus Magnus College (4-2, 2-0 GNAC) in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's soccer tilt at Westerlea Way Field on Saturday afternoon.
A goal scored by Mike Sanfilippo '12 (Walpole, Mass.) in the 30th minute lifted the Monks to a 1-0 advantage that held true until the 72:06 mark when Falcons senior striker Jamal Howard (West Haven, Conn.) tied the game with his first of two markers on the afternoon.
Howard struck again 9:27 into overtime with a goal off an Albertus throw-in from the right corner to lift his side to a well-earned GNAC victory.
Sanfilippo, a tri-captain for the Monks, opened the game-scoring with his third goal of the season – a career-high - off a Zach Johnson '14 (Westbrook, Maine) left-to-right crossing pass at the top of the box. The senior midfielder received the pass, dribbled briefly, and belted a shot past Falcons keeper Donato Piroscafo '14 (Naugatuck, Conn.) that ricocheted off the left post and into the net.
The evenly-matched first half saw the teams head into intermission with five shots apiece and no corner kick attempts.
The game opened up offensively in the second stanza when the conference rivals combined to post 29 shots with four total corner bids. The Monks seemed to notch most of the true scoring opportunities, but a handful of attempts sailed wide or high – or both – of the target.
Howard's game-tying goal – a boot from just outside the 18 - was very nearly stopped by SJC keeper Kenny Grade '14 (Hampton, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas), who got two hands on the high shot but the momentum of the kick caused the ball to slip through his mitts and into the net.
Junior midfielder Teddy Palmer (Scarborough, Maine) had a pair of opportunities to knot the game and Johnson recorded another, but two of the attempts sailed wide and another was stopped y Piroscafo.
Calvin Servaes '14 (Hull, Mass.) entered the match at the 88:41 mark and quickly got into the action with a great scoring bid 36 seconds later when he was sprung free on the right side, but his kick sailed high over the cross bar.
Heading into extra play, the Monks applied pressure early when Ross Suleski '14 (Amesbury, Mass./St. Thomas Aquinas) headed a ball wide and a Sanfilippo kick was stopped by Piroscafo.
Unfortunately for the Monks, the result would go in their favor as a throw-in attempt by Chris Long '13 (West Haven, Conn.) eventually found the foot of Howard, who secured the ball in traffic and beat a spawling Grade to push the Falcons to a 2-1 win.
Grade registered seven saves for the hosts and Piroscafo made four stops in goal for the visitors.
Saint Joseph's held slight advantages in shots (23-20) and corner kicks (3-2) in a losing effort. With the loss the Monks fall to 2-4 in the history of the series with the Falcons, who have now defeated St. Joe's in three consecutive meetings. Albertus ended the Monks' 2010 campaign with a 2-0 GNAC tourney quarterfinal setback in New Haven on October 30th.
St. Joe's returns to action on Tuesday with a home match versus University of Maine-Farmington at 4:00 PM. Albertus Magnus will host Mitchell College on Wednesday at 4:00 PM.