STANDISH, Maine – Saint Joseph's College (5-14-0, 3-6-0 GNAC) blanked Emmanuel College (5-9-2, 4-5-0 GNAC), 2-0, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's soccer match at Westerlea Way Field on Saturday afternoon. With the victory, the Monks claim the #8 seed in the GNAC Tournament and will play at top-seeded Johnson & Wales University in a conference quarterfinal next Saturday.
The entire GNAC tourney picture will come into focus later this evening after the Albertus Magnus/Suffolk match is completed. Emmanuel has secured a playoff berth as either the #6 or #7 seed, depending on the outcome of the aforementioned conference contest.
As it played out, the Monks netted the only offense they would require in the 41st minute when sophomore Jack Murray (Hingham, Mass.) scored his second goal of the season. In transition, sophomore Sean Baker (Medfield, Mass.) found space rushing up the right side and needled a pass to the left, through a pair of defenders, to Murray, who sent an odd-angle shot, taken from the right side of the box, into the left corner of the net for the 1-0 lead.
The slim margin held true until the 89th minute when sophomore Victor Santos (Framingham, Mass.) potted his fifth marker of the year. Led with a bouncing pass from freshman Austin Bell (Gorham, Maine), Santos duked a defender in the box and beat Emmanuel senior keeper Garrett Charette (West Springfield, Mass.) with a shot to the right panel of the net to account for the 2-0 final.
Requiring a victory to keep their season alive, the Monks responded with perhaps their best all-around performance of the year, as evidenced by the resounding shots advantage (23-8) as well as the 4-2 edge in corner kicks. Junior keeper Scott Benner (Post Falls, Idaho) made one save to record his fourth shutout of the season while Charette tallied 11 stops in the losing effort for the Saints.
Prior to the start of the match, Saint Joseph's held a brief ceremony to honor the Monks' three seniors: Robert Petrosillo (Methuen, Mass.), Garrett Darnell (Gray, Maine) and Jason Wade (South Hampton, N.H.). This trio has helped the Monks post a 39-35-3 (.527) record with four GNAC Tournament appearances as well as a conference championship in 2011.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 6-2-1 all-time versus Emmanuel College with today's triumph counting as the Monks' first-ever shutout win over the Saints. Interestingly, all five of the Monks' victories this fall have been of the shutout variety.
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.