BIDDEFORD, Maine -- First-year Jesse Ramirez (Dumont, N.J.) scored with 18 seconds remaining to provide the Saint Joseph's College Monks with a 1-0 win over the University of New England in a non-conference men's soccer match played Friday evening (Sept. 4) under the lights at Barbara J. Hazard Field.
With the win, the Monks remain unbeaten (1-0-1) on the young season, while the Nor'easters dip to the .500 mark at 1-1-0.
Just when it appeared as if the match might head to overtime, Ramirez notched his first collegiate goal to send the visitors home triumphant. Senior captain Nate Fox (South Portland, Maine) found Ramirez open at the top of the box, and the rookie forward took one touch after receiving the feed and drove a low shot that grazed off the left post and over the goal line.
The Nor'easters had their best scoring opportunity of the game in the 65th minute, but St. Joe's senior goalkeeper Scott Benner (Post Falls, Idaho) came up with consecutive stops to keep the contest scoreless. UNE junior Ryan Stephens' (Stow, Mass.) initial shot from point blank range was denied by Benner, and a follow-up header by Stephens was also turned aside.
Benner finished with eight saves for the Monks, who led 16-12 in shots.
UNE senior goalkeeper Nate Diffin (York, Maine) had four saves, including a nice stop in the 83rd minute to keep the game scoreless.
Saint Joseph's will look to keep its record unblemished when its hosts UMaine Fort Kent on Monday (4 p.m.). The Nor'easters entertain non-conference foe Bowdoin College the following evening (7:30 p.m.).
COURTESY OF UNE SPORTS INFORMATION
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- With tonight's thrilling victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 3-7-2 all-time versus UNE, a team that defeated the Monks by a 2-0 margin in Biddeford last season
- Tonight's win is the first for St. Joe's – in any sport – against UNE since the SJC softball team swept a doubleheader with the Nor'easters' nine on April 22nd, 2014 and snaps a seven-game losing skid versus the in-state rival
- This is the first time in the 26-year history of the SJC men's soccer program that the team has started a season with a 1-0-1 record
- This evening's stalemate is the first between SJC and UNE since the 1991 season when the Monks and Nor'easters dueled to a 3-3 tie on October 17th that fall
- For Benner, tonight's shutout was the 11th of his career and the victory was his 22nd NCAA triumph; he ranks third all-time in shutouts and is tied for second in career wins
- Ramirez netted his first college goal on his only shot tonight versus UNE
- St. Joe's is 10-6-0 all-time versus Maine-Fort Kent, but hasn't played the Bengals since the 2005 campaign
- The Bengals are currently undefeated, sitting at 5-0 after defeating Maine Maritime Academy by a 6-0 tally earlier today
- UMFK has outscored opponents by an impressive 24-4 margin through five contests and has not allowed a goal in the last three games
- Last season, Maine-Fort Kent went 20-1-1 with their only defeat coming in the USCAA National Championship – falling to WVU-Tech, 2-0, on November 8th
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 474-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.