STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's College (8-3-1, 4-0-0 GNAC) defeated Anna Maria College (3-6-1, 0-4-0 GNAC), 3-1, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's soccer match at Westerlea Way Field on Saturday afternoon. Senior midfielder Kyle Shangraw (Westbrook, Maine) recorded a goal and an assist in the victory to help the Monks remain undefeated in GNAC play.
Shangraw started the game scoring with a goal off a free kick exactly four minutes after the opening whistle. Seconds earlier, senior midfielder Fabrice Iraduha (Portland, Maine) was possessed the ball near the top of the box and was fouled, an infraction that set up the kick for Shangraw, who struck a kick through the wall and into the lower right corner to provide the hosts with an early advantage.
The 1-0 edge remained until the 44th minute when a defensive lapse by the Monks resulted in an Anna Maria marker to knot the game at one-apiece heading into intermission. Controlling the ball near midfield on the right sideline, freshman forward Christopher Mattioli (Sturbridge, Mass.) quickly recognized an odd-man rush and delivered a long feed right to the feet of junior midfielder Michael Quirk (Rockfall, Conn.), who eluded a defender and booted the ball into the top left corner.
After a sloppy ending to the first frame, the Monks entered the second stanza with renewed vigor and looked to employ the halftime adjustments delivered by Head Coach Steve Babineau.
The SJC side capitalized on the effort just 3:22 into the second half when freshman Victor Santos (Framingham, Mass.) scored the first game-winner of his collegiate career. Possessing the ball and shedding a defender in the right corner, junior midfielder Jason Wade (South Hampton, N.H.) sent a well-placed ball to the left post, just beyond the outstretched hands of Anna Maria keeper Andrew Dahl (Marlton, N.J.), to find Santos, who drove a header into the empty net to make it a 2-1 game.
The AMCATS squandered an excellent scoring opportunity in the 65th minute when senior Justin Hyland (Leicester, Mass.) took a free kick from just outside the 18 but his shot smacked Iraduha, who stood as part of the wall, and was quickly cleared without harm.
The Monks tacked on an insurance goal in the 68th minute when senior forward Zach Johnson (Westbrook, Maine) tallied his second goal of the season. At midfield, Shangraw set up the play with a lead pass to Johnson, who was streaking towards the right post and finished the drive with a chip shot to the right corner of the net. Dahl, who deftly left his post to thwart an SJC scoring opportunity on several occasions throughout the contest, saw a defensive mismatch and scampered out of the goalmouth to challenge Johnson, but was unsuccessful in his attempt.
Overall, Saint Joseph's held an 18-12 advantage in shots, including a 10-4 lead in attempts on target, and an 11-0 cushion in corner kicks on the afternoon. Dahl recorded seven saves in net for the visitors while Saint Joseph's sophomore keeper Scott Benner (Post Falls, Idaho) made three saves in goal for the hosts.
Prior to the start of the match, a brief ceremony was held to honor Sheila White, who was recently diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. White, a friend of the Saint Joseph's College men's soccer program, and her family were introduced at midfield and were presented with a monetary gift, which was collected from a tee-shirt fundraiser held by the team over the past few weeks.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 3-0 in the brief history of the series with Anna Maria College, which began play in the GNAC in 2011.
Saint Joseph's resumes play with a non-conference contest at Endicott College starting at 6:00 PM on Wednesday. Anna Maria is off until next Saturday when the AMCATS play at Rivier University in a GNAC match slated to kick off at 7:00 PM.
SJC Men's Soccer team with the White Family - Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Game:
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.