PAXTON, Mass.—Sophomore Victor Santos (Framingham, Mass.) scored two minutes and 31 seconds into the second overtime period to break open a scoreless game and give the Saint Joseph's College Monks a 1-0 win against the AMCATS of Anna Maria College on Saturday afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action.
With the loss, the host AMCATS fall to 1-6 overall and 0-2 in GNAC play, while the win boosts the Monks to 2-8 overall and 1-1 in GNAC play.
After over 100 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Monks were awarded a free-kick a few paces outside of the 18-yard box. Junior Nate Fox (South Portland, Maine) took the kick and passed wide to Garrett Darnell (Gray, Maine), positioned in the left corner. Darnell crossed the ball low in front of the goal line, where Santos slid in to place the ball past the outstretched arms of AMCATS' goalkeeper Patrick Thornberg (Wayland, Mass.).
The goal by Santos brought a dramatic end to one of the longest scoring droughts in program history, as the Monks went a staggering 567:23 minutes without finding the back of the net before the sophomore's winner tickled the twine. With the side's last goal coming in a 5-0 trouncing of Maine-Presque Isle on September 6th, the Monks suffered a program-record five-consecutive shutout setbacks during what amounted to a two-week dry spell.
The goal broke open an otherwise evenly-matched contest that saw regulation end with a three-shot advantage for the Monks, 19-16. Both teams took two shots in overtime, but the Monks found the back of the net first.
The final 11 minutes of regulation saw scoring opportunities for both teams, but neither was able to convert. Santos had chances to put the Monks on the board at the 11-minute mark and again with 8:35 left to play as he had open looks at the net, but Thornburg made a diving save on the first attempt and Santos misfired right at Thornburg on the next attempt.
With 3:07 left to play in regulation, Anna Maria's Christopher Mattoli (Sturbridge, Mass.) capitalized on a defensive misplay to gain an open shot inside the 18-yard box, but his shot went wide of the net.
Thornberg totaled eight saves in net for the AMCATS, while Saint Joseph's netminder Scott Benner (Post Falls, Idaho) also finished with eight saves in the win.
Today's win counts as the Monks' first double-overtime victory since the Royal Blue edged Rivier University, 2-1, on October 13th, 2012. Saint Joseph's is now 4-0 all-time versus Anna Maria College with three of the triumphs being of the shutout variety.
Saint Joseph's plays at Maine-Farmington in a non-conference contest starting at 4:00 PM on Tuesday. Anna Maria returns to action on Wednesday when the side travels to Massachusetts Maritime for a 7:00 PM non-conference 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.