STANDISH, Maine – Saint Joseph's College (8-3-1, 4-1-0 GNAC) blanked Mount Ida College (8-4-1, 4-1-1 GNAC), 2-0, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's soccer action at Westerlea Way Field on Monday afternoon.
The Monks handed the Mustangs their first conference loss of the season with a pair of first half goals, as freshman Brett Mattos (Mahopac, N.Y.) scored off a Johnny Thomas (Boston, Mass.) pass in the 23rd minute and junior Sean Baker (Medway, Mass.) potted an insurance goal with 32 seconds left in the opening stanza.
St. Joe's fought an uphill battle for the better part of the second half, as Thomas was slapped with a red card in the 54th minute, which meant the hosts would be forced to play a man down for the remainder of the game. The Monks' defense rose to the occasion and allowed just two shots – both off target – over the final 36 minutes.
Perhaps the play of the game was recorded at the 58:02 mark, when a foul in the SJC box resulted in a penalty kick attempt for Mustangs' freshman forward Jordain Williams (Colchester, Vt.), but first-year keeper Blake Mullen (Manchester, Conn.) dove to his right to make the save and eliminate the visitors' chance to gain momentum.
1. 22:16 SJMMS15 Brett Mattos Johnny Thomas
St. Joe's got on the board in the 23rd minute, when Thomas found a seam up the middle and hit Mattos with a bounding through ball. Mattos collected the feed with his chest down and played the ball to his foot, just as Mount Ida sophomore keeper Riley Ford (Guilderland, N.Y.) came out to challenge, before tucking a shot into the bottom right corner of the goal.
2. 44:28 SJMMS15 Sean Baker (unassisted)
The Monks doubled their advantage just before intermission, as Baker collected a rebound off a Nicholas Borowski (Webster, Mass.) shot and tapped the ball into the heart of the net. Senior Ralph Houanche (Port-au-Prince, Haiti) set up the score with a well-placed free kick from about 35 yards out near the right sideline.
- The Monks have now won six straight, the longest win streak since the 2013 team posted a seven-gamer
- Saint Joseph's has not allowed a goal since September 25th when the Royal Blue topped Maine-Presque Isle, 4-1 – a shutout span of over 351 minutes
- The Mustangs entered today's contest having won seven of the last eight matches by a combined 26-8 score
For the Monks, Mullen recorded three saves to post the second shutout of his collegiate career.
Ford and sophomore William Planey (Dallas, Texas) split time in goal for the Mustangs, with the former posting four saves in in the first half and the former registering one stop in the second stanza.
With today's triumph, Saint Joseph's improves to 5-4-0 all-time against Mount Ida College, a team that has defeated the Monks in each of the past two seasons. This afternoon's shutout effort is the Monks' third versus the Mustangs and first since a 2-0 win on October 17th, 2009.
Saint Joseph's returns to action on Thursday when the Monks play host to Anna Maria College (2-8-1, 1-4-0 GNAC) in a 7:45 PM start at Deering Memorial Stadium in Portland. The game was originally scheduled for September 26th but was rescheduled due to travel issues.
Mount Ida is off until next Saturday when the Mustangs travel to Emmanuel College (5-8-0, 4-2-0 GNAC) for a 3:00 PM kick-off.
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.