SCARBOROUGH, ME – Saint Joseph's (4-5-2, 2-3-1 GNAC) fell to Emmanuel College (3-5-2, 2-3-0 GNAC), 3-2, in a GNAC men's soccer contest at the Kippy Mitchell Sports Complex on Sunday evening.
St. Joe's held a 2-1 edge following a perfectly-executed corner kick at the 72:50 mark, when Jason Wade (South Hampton, N.H.) sent the ball in the box to Jack LaFreniere (Alton, N.H.), who slammed a header in to the top right corner. The lead would not stand however; as the visiting-Saints went on to net a pair of markers in a 44-second span, a feat from which the Monks could not recover.
SJC junior Ross Suleski (Amesbury, Mass./St. Thomas Aquinas) potted a penalty-kick goal 5:57 into the game to lift his team to an early 1-0 lead, an advantage that would stand until the 50th minute when Emmanuel senior Kevin Shirley (Madison, Conn.) nailed a header past Monks netminder Kenny Grade (Hampton, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas) to knot the game at one-apiece.
LaFreniere went on to stake the hosts to a 2-1 lead over 23 minutes later, but the slim cushion lasted for only 2:21, as Shirley tallied his second marker to tie the game once again. The recipient of a perfect pass from the left corner off the foot of Stefano Sainato (Albany, N.Y.), Shirley one-timed a head shot into the top right corner to make it a 2-2 game with 14:49 remaining in regulation.
Just 44 seconds later, Sainato would net his first NCAA goal in dramatic fashion, as the first-year forward broke free from the SJC defense, streaked down the right side of the field on a breakaway, and unleashed an odd-angle shot that found the top left corner to produce what proved to be the game-winner at the 75:55 mark.
Grade made six saves in the loss for Saint Joseph's, while Saints keeper Garrett Charette (West Springfield, Mass.) stopped eight of 10 shots for the visitors. St. Joe's held slim advantages in both shots (17-16) and corner kicks (4-3) and Emmanuel was hit with 10 fouls, compared to four SJC infractions.
With the loss, Saint Joseph's – which entered tonight's action on a four-game undefeated streak - falls to 4-2-1 in the history of the series with Emmanuel College.
Saint Joseph's will play at Bowdoin College – ranked seventh in the latest NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division III New England Poll - on Tuesday at 4:30 PM. Emmanuel hosts GNAC-rival Norwich University on Wednesday at 7:00 PM.
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.