STANDISH, ME - #2 Saint Joseph's College (10-8-1, 6-2-0 GNAC) suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of seventh-seeded Albertus Magnus College (6-9-2, 2-5-2 GNAC) in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Men's Soccer Tournament quarterfinal at Westerlea Way Field on Sunday afternoon.
With the victory, Albertus Magnus – the defending conference champions – advances and will play at #3 Johnson & Wales University in a GNAC tourney semifinal in Providence on Wednesday at 4:00 PM. The loss signals the end of the 2013 season for Saint Joseph's College.
After 70 minutes of mostly even play, the scoreless deadlock was broken in the 71st minute when senior Dan Dwyer (Hamden, Conn.) potted the eventual winner off a corner kick injected by sophomore Austin Tomin (Hamden, Conn.). The corner was placed directly into the middle of the box, where Dwyer found just enough space in traffic to steer a kick towards the right side of the net.
Initially, the attempt appeared to be stopped by sophomore goalkeeper Scott Benner (Post Falls, Idaho) and Monks started moving upfield, but one of the officials sounded his whistle and indicated that the ball crossed the goal line, in the air, before Benner kicked the shot away. After a brief discussion, the three officials agreed on the call.
The Monks put on plenty of pressure for the remainder of the match and had several opportunities to tie the game, but Falcons' senior keeper Donato Piroscafo (Naugatuck, Conn.) went mostly untested as the majority of the hosts' bids sailed off target.
With time running out on the season, Saint Joseph's pulled Benner into the offensive end to add an extra attacker in the closing minutes and nearly benefited from the man-up situation, as the Falcons drew a foul barely outside the box on the right side to create a free kick for senior Zach Johnson (Westbrook, Maine) with just 19 seconds left. With the clock stopped, the Monks had time to set up a play but failed to record a shot.
In goal, Benner and Piroscafo both made four saves in the conference tournament contest. Senior Kyle Shangraw (Westbrook, Maine) led all players with five shots while Johnson and Fabrice Iraduha (Portland, Maine) added three shots apiece in the hard-fought loss.
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.