WATERVILLE, Maine – Thomas College (1-2-0) negated a 1-0 deficit with four unanswered goals in the second half to defeat Saint Joseph's College (0-3-0), 4-1, in a non-conference men's soccer match on Wednesday evening. Junior keeper Scott Benner (Post Falls, Idaho) registered seven saves in the losing effort.
The beginning of the contest plenty of back and forth play with much of the ball handling taking place in the midfield. The Monks found the scoreboard first in the 11th minute, grabbing their first lead of the young season, when senior midfielder Garrett Darnell (Gray, Maine) slipped through the Thomas back line and beat Thomas netminder Winston Trott with a strike to the left side of the goal.
The Terriers, winners of consecutive North Atlantic Conference (NAC) championships with NCAA Tournament appearances in each of the last two seasons, managed to outshoot Saint Joseph's by a 13-4 margin throughout the opening frame, but Benner came up with four key saves to give the away side a slim 1-0 lead at half.
The second stanza saw the hosts continue to pour on the offensive pressure, and the Terriers finally evened the score when London Steede-Jackson received a through ball from Tre Ming. Nine minutes later it was Ming again who found senior Dakota Duplissie, who struck from outside the box and found the top right corner over the fingertips of Benner, a score that put Thomas on top to stay.
The hosts maintained the offensive threat with a pair of goals in a five-minute span midway through the second half, as Max Hansson scored at the 72:39 mark and John Flores-Mckennna beat Benner with a strike 4:18 later to propel the Terriers to the home-opening 4-1 win.
Overall, Thomas held a 30-9 advantage in shots and a 7-0 edge in corner kicks in the victory. With the result, Thomas improves to 13-8-3 in the history of the series versus Saint Joseph's. The Terriers, who defeated the Monks by a 3-2 margin last fall, have now posted back-to-back triumphs over the Royal Blue for the first time since 1993.
Both teams return to action on Saturday, when Saint Joseph's hosts University of Maine-Presque Isle in the Monks' 2014 home opener at 1:00 PM and Thomas travels to University of New England for a 3:30 PM kick-off.
THANKS IN PART TO THOMAS COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION
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.