STANDISH, Maine – Suffolk University (4-5-0, 2-2-0 GNAC) scored a pair of unanswered goals to edge Saint Joseph's College (3-10-0, 1-3-0 GNAC), 2-1, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's soccer match on a soggy Saturday afternoon at Westerlea Way Field.
The Monks struck first just 2:38 after the opening whistle, as sophomore forward Yanni Rakis (Belfast, Maine) scored off a rebound to proved the hosts with an early 1-0 lead. Senior midfielder Jason Wade (South Hampton, N.H.) started the play with a shot that was blocked by a Rams' defender, but rebound landed at the feet of Rakis who kicked the ball from the middle of the box into the left panel of the net. Suffolk junior keeper Nicholas Chamma (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) got a piece of the shot, but the ball had enough momentum to cross the goal line.
The slim margin remained until the 35th minute when Suffolk forward Juan Lazacano Bello (Madrid, Spain) put the Rams on the board with his third goal of the season. The senior striker beat Saint Joseph's keeper Scott Benner (Post Falls, Idaho), who left his post to challenge, to a bouncing ball near the top of the box and placed a shot into an empty net to knot the game at one-apiece with 10:24 before the break.
The match seemed destined for extra play, but Suffolk senior Dijibril Niang (Dakar, Senegral) effectively put the game away with his first goal of the season in the 86th minute. After pilfering the ball at midfield, the ball was pushed forward by the Rams and, after several deflections found the foot of Niang, who was streaking near the top of the box and steered a kick past Benner into the left side of the net.
Benner made six saves for the Monks while Chamma tallied a pair of stops for the Rams. Both teams earned seven corner kicks and Saint Joseph's held a 13-12 edge in shots in the losing effort.
With the setback, Saint Joseph's falls to 4-4-1 all-time versus Suffolk University, a team the Royal Blue defeated by a 2-0 margin in Boston last season.
Saint Joseph's will host UMass.-Boston at 3:30 PM on Tuesday while Suffolk plays at Emerson College at 6:00 PM on Wednesday.
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.