STANDISH, Maine – Sophomore midfielder JoJo Strobino (Clifton, N.J.) snapped a scoreless stalemate with a goal off a corner kick in the 63rd minute to lift top-seeded Saint Joseph's College (16-0-1) past #8 Suffolk University (9-7-1), 1-0, in a hotly-contested Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Men's Soccer Tournament Quarterfinal at the SJC Athletics Complex on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, Saint Joseph's advances to the GNAC semifinal round and will host #5 Regis (Mass.), which upset #4 Mount Ida College 3-1 in other quarterfinal action earlier today, in a second round matchup Wednesday at 7:00 PM.
With the loss, Suffolk's 2017 campaign comes to a close.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Monks outshot the Rams by a 30-7 margin and had a handful of scoring opportunities thwarted by Suffolk sophomore keeper Jon Brodeur (Northampton, Mass.), who finished the contest with 13 saves in a losing effort.
Less than a minute after junior Brett Mattos (Mahopac, N.Y.) clanged a header off the crossbar, sophomore Cody Elliott (Gorham, Maine) sent a corner kick into the box, where the ball was flicked forward by sophomore Noah Robinson (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) to Strobino, who was stationed near the right post and headed in his first goal of the season.
With just seven seconds remaining, the Rams came within inches of tying the game, as a free kick taken by sophomore Felipe Ucros (Guatemala) was headed for the upper 90 on the right side before SJC junior goalie Blake Mullen (Manchester, Conn.) punched the ball safely away.
Mullen posted three saves to pick up his 10th shutout of the year while Brodeur singlehandedly kept his team in the game with 13 stops in a hard-fought losing effort.
Saint Joseph's held sizeable leads in shots (30-7), shots on goal (14-3), and corner kicks (11-4) in the victory.
Saint Joseph's has now posted 17-consecutive shutouts and has tied Drew University for the longest shutout streak in NCAA DIII Men's Soccer history. The Rangers posted a 17-game blank-sheet streak during the 2003 campaign and finished as the NCAA DIII Runner-up that fall.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 9-4-1 in the history of the matchup with Suffolk University and has now defeated the Rams in five-consecutive meetings dating back to the 2015 season.
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.