NEWTON, Mass. – Amid blustery and rainy conditions, Mount Ida College held off visiting Saint Joseph's College of Maine 2-1 and clinched a spot in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's soccer tournament.
The Mustangs (7-7-1, 3-4-1 GNAC) will make their fourth consecutive trip in the GNAC postseason event, while the Monks drop to 4-13 (2-5 GNAC).
After a scoreless first half, the hosts scored both of their goals in less than a minute just before the hour mark.
Senior Nick Rivas-Vasquez (Hamden, Conn.) converted a penalty kick for his second goal of the season to give the Mustangs the lead at 58:43, and junior Carlos Martinez (Chelsea, Mass.) doubled the home team's advantage forty-five seconds later with a brilliant free kick taken from the 35 yard-line, which found the upper left corner, beating goalie Scott Benner (Post Falls, Idaho).
On the cusp of being shutout, Saint Joseph's freshman Austin Bell (Gorham, Maine) pulled a goal back for the Monks in the final seconds, notching his fifth tally of the season.
Senior Mat Pils (Monroe, Conn.) made three saves in the game, while Benner also made three stops, as the Mustangs outshot the Monks 15-6, including a 10-5 advantage in the second half.
Saint Joseph's did have a 3-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Mount Ida finishes their regular season GNAC schedule on Saturday when they travel to Norwich for a 4:00 pm game, which will help determine their final playoff positioning.
Saint Joseph's closes out their regular season with an important GNAC game against Emmanuel at home on Saturday at 12:00 pm.
COURTESY OF MOUNT IDA 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.