BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Stefano Sainato (Albany, N.Y.) scored two goals and assisted on the eventual game-winner to lead the Emmanuel College men's soccer team past Saint Joseph's College (ME), 3-2, Saturday afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action at Roberto Clemente Field. The Saints improve to 2-1 and 1-0 in GNAC play while the loss drops the Monks to 2-2-1 and 0-1.
With the score knotted at 2-2 late in the action, Sainato found himself deep in Monks territory with the help of a leading through-ball from classmate David Field (Laguna Niguel, Calif.). Sainato slipped a well directly pass across the box to find junior forward Colin O'Donnell (Killingworth, Conn.) on the weak side. O'Donnell calmly redirected the pass into the back of the net to give Emmanuel the 3-2 lead with just 1:36 to play in regulation.
The Monks nearly scored the equalizer immediately after the restart as Saint Joseph's junior midfielder Johnny Thomas (Boston, Mass.) ripped a shot deep in the Saints box. Senior goalkeeper James Withers (East Taunton, Mass.) made a diving near post save to preserve the one-goal lead and it was enough to power the Saints to the 3-2 victory.
Saint Joseph's got on the scoreboard early in the competition to take a 1-0 lead in just the fourth minute of play. Sophomore Austin Bell (Gorham, Maine) crossed a ball that forced Withers off his line. With the keeper out of net, freshman Jesse Ramirez (Dumont, N.J.) scored easily for his team-leading fourth goal of the campaign at 3:17 in the action.
The Saints tied the score only five minutes later with Sainato's first goal of the afternoon. O'Donnell slipped a pass through the left side of the Saint Joseph's midfield to find Sainato on the wing. The senior cut the ball inside before ripping a left footed shot to the far post, beating senior keeper Scott Benner (Post Falls, Idaho) to knot the score at 1-1.
After 53 minutes of scoreless play, the Saints took their first lead of the day on Sainato's second goal of the contest during the 62nd minute of action. The play began with a shot by junior forward Jordan Maurer (Florence, Mass.) that bounded towards the back post and deflected off a Monks defender directly to Sainato who one-time the shot past Benner to make it a 2-1 game.
Saint Joseph's never let down, tying the game later in the half on Thomas's fourth goal of the year to make it 2-2 with 15:30 left in the half. With the ball deep in Emmanuel territory, a failed clear by the Saints allowed Thomas to capitalize on an unassisted tally, setting the stage for the late game Emmanuel heroics.
Withers earns his second win of the year making four saves for EC while Benner made six saves for Saint Joseph's.
The Saints return to action on Tuesday, Sept. 15 when they host Wentworth Institute of Technology at 7:00 PM in non-conference action. The Monks are idle until Thursday, Sept. 17 when they play host to Thomas College at 4:00 PM.
COURTESY OF EMMANUEL COLLEGE 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 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.