STANDISH, ME – Senior Fabrice Iraduha (Portland, Maine/Portland) scored a pair of goals to propel Saint Joseph's College (4-2-1, 1-0-0 GNAC) past University of New England (3-2-1, 0-1-0 CCC), 2-1, in a non-conference men's soccer match at Westerlea Way Field on Wednesday afternoon. The Monks have now won four consecutive contests and allowed just one goal during the winning stretch.
Iraduha, who was recently shifted up top after playing as a midfielder most of his career, registered his first collegiate brace with markers that nearly mirrored each other on the game clock. The senior netted his first goal, off a Zach Johnson (Westbrook, Maine) feed, just 2:12 after the opening whistle and notched his second tally with 2:05 remaining in the first half to negate a 15th-minute marker by the Nor'easters and lift the Monks on top to stay.
The opening goal was largely the result of a hustle play by sophomore midfielder Jeff DeGrenier (Jaffrey, N.H.), who deserves credit for his effort but did not figure into the scoring. In a race for a loose ball on the left sideline near midfield, DeGrenier shifted into second gear to win it before lofting a lead pass to Johnson, who collected the sphere and sent a crossing pass to Iraduha, who found a lane near the right post and headed the ball into an open net.
University of New England countered a little over 12 minutes later when junior Sean Goodrich (Gorham, N.H.) scored off an Anthony Frangione (Barnstead, N.H.) feed to knot the game at 1-1 with 30:21 remaining in the opening frame. Taking advantage of the Monks playing a man down due to a misunderstanding on a substitution, the Nor'easters charged downfield and found the back of the net when Frangione dealt a beautiful left-to-right cross from the left corner near the 18 to find Goodrich, who outworked a defender and headed the ball into the top right corner.
Sophomore keeper Scott Benner (Post Falls, Idaho) played a role in the second SJC goal, as the second-year starter booted a high bouncing kick past midfield. Saint Jospeh's freshman Tom Masters (Round Pond, Maine) jumped and flicked the ball on to Iraduha, who beat a defender and drove an odd-angle kick past UNE netminder Aidan McParland (Brockville, Ontario), who left his post to challenge but was caught out of position the ball sailed to the top left corner of the net.
The second half featured plenty of back and forth play but the Monks kept pressing offensively and outshot the Nor'easters by a 10-3 margin in the closing 45. St. Joe's had several excellent opportunities to pad the lead, but McParland made a couple of acrobatic saves, including a fantastic stop on a Ralph Houanche (Portland, Maine/Portland) bid in the 61st minute, to keep his side in the contest.
Sophomore forward Tyler Garnick (Derry, N.H.) recorded the Nor'easters' best scoring chance at the 58:34 mark when saw a wide-open net but rattled a blast off the post.
Benner made one save in goal for the hosts while McParland tallied four stops for the visitors. Saint Joseph's senior midfielder Kyle Shangraw (Westbrook, Maine) was quite active and registered eight of the Monks' 18 shots on the afternoon.
Saint Joseph's held considerable advantages in both shots (18-10) and corner kicks (6-2) in the victory. The Nor'easters were flagged for eight fouls while the Monks were whistled on seven occasions in a contest that could certainly be described as a physical one.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 2-6-2 in the history of the series with University of New England, a side the Monks had not faced since 1998 prior to this afternoon's meeting.
Both teams resume play with home contests versus conference opponents on Saturday, when Saint Joseph's faces GNAC-rival Norwich University at 12:00 PM and UNE takes on Western New England University at 2:30 PM.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 430-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.