WATERVILLE, ME – Former conference rivals Saint Joseph's (1-1-1) and Thomas College (1-0-1) dueled to a 2-2 standoff on Thursday afternoon. Monks freshman goalkeeper Scott Benner (Post Falls, Idaho) registered 14 saves in the stalemate.
The Monks held a 2-0 lead just 16 minutes into the contest but the SJC offense stalled from this point forward. In the meantime, the Terriers successfully chipped away at the deficit with markers in the 28th and 52nd minutes to force extra play – a pair of 10-minute overtime frames during which neither team would find the back of the net.
Saint Joseph's started the scoring affair in the 11th minute when Jack LaFreniere (Alton, N.H.) picked the ball up at the top of the crease on a Thomas turnover and dribbled it in, beating Mikkail Crockwell (St. David's, Bermuda), who made seven stops in the draw, to the right side for a goal. The Monks would double their advantage just six minutes later when senior Alex Day (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) collected a LaFreniere crossing pass in the box and buried the sphere into the back of the net for his first Saint Joseph's goal.
Thomas would respond in the 28th minute as the Terriers were picking up the offensive pressure. Sebastion Wiiala (Varmdo, Sweden) had two opportunities in the box that SJC keeper Scott Benner (Post Falls, Idaho) saved, but a handball was called on the Monks, and Michael Hand (Essex, England) was able to strike for a PK goal to bring the game to 2-1 going into half.
Just six minutes into the second half, Hand took a feed from Dakota Duplisse (Hampden, Maine) that he was able to take advantage of, scoring his second goal of the contest.
The Terriers had an opportunity to seal the victory in the 88th minute, as Joshua Phelps (Maroochydor, Australia) was awarded a penalty shot, but was stonewalled by Benner. The chance came again in the first half of overtime in the 96th minute, as Khamisi Lightbourne (Sandy's, Bermuda) took another PK shot, but his bid sailed high over the crossbar.
Thomas held a 29-19 advantage in shots and a 6-4 lead in corner kicks on the afternoon. In a match that some may describe as "chippy," the Monks were slapped with 17 fouls while the hosts were called out on 13 occasions.
Today's result marks the second consecutive meeting that the Monks and Terriers played into double overtime. Saint Joseph's posted a 2-1 2OT win in the last match between the in-state rivals, which was played in Standish on September 16th, 2008. This afternoon's tie is also the second-consecutive stalemate involving the two sides in contests played on the Thomas campus, as the teams dueled to a 2-2 tally in Waterville on September 30th, 2007.
With the tie, St. Joe's now owns a 13-6-3 record in the history of the series with Thomas College. Today's deadlock also hands the Monks their first tie since the middle of the 2010 campaign as Saint Joseph's had not registered a draw since playing to a 0-0 result versus Emmanuel College on September 25th of that season, a span of 31 games.
The Monks are set to host Johnson & Wales University in the team's 2012 home-and-conference-opener on Saturday at 1:00 PM, while Thomas travels to Maine-Machias for a 3:00 PM match on Sunday.
THANKS IN PART TO THOMAS COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION
Saint Joseph's College, founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy, celebrates its Centennial year in 2012 with a theme of "Realize the Promise" – honoring our commitment to educating well-rounded graduates who combine career focus with classic liberal arts studies. A Private, Catholic, primarily residential, coeducational liberal arts institution, Saint Joseph's welcomes students of all ages and all faiths. The campus, located 18 miles northwest of Portland and just two hours from Boston, encompasses 350 acres along the shore of beautiful Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine. Enrollment ranges between 1,000 and 1,100 students annually. Saint Joseph's offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, nursing and business fields in a value-centered environment.