STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's College (14-2, 9-1 GNAC) edged Suffolk University (5-11, 5-5 GNAC), 2-1, in GNAC women's soccer action at Westerlea Way Field on Wednesday afternoon.
Sophomore Hannah LeBlanc (Andover, Mass.) netted the first goal of the match on a strange play just 1:54 after the opening whistle. Sophomore Megen Pollini (Wolfeboro, N.H.) sent a throw-in to LeBlanc, who was near the end line at the edge of the 18-yard box and took several touches before steering a shot towards the goal. A Suffolk defender attempted to clear the zone, but partially whiffed on the bid and ultimately re-directed the shot over the head of Rams junior netminder Melissa Brouillette (Shelton, Conn.) and into the net.
The Monks doubled their lead 36 minutes later when freshman Desiree Parent (Westborough, Mass.) netted her fourth goal of the season. Working in space, senior Lauren Chouinard (Gorham, Maine) delivered a lofting pass to Parent, who was streaking towards the right post. Brouillette left the net to challenge, but Parent footed the ball on a short hop just before the Suffolk keeper arrived and followed the shot into a wide-open goal to make it a 2-0 game.
The two-goal cushion lasted four minutes, as the Rams countered with what turned out to be their only marker of the afternoon with 3:10 left in the opening frame. Senior Taylor Miranda (Smithtown, N.Y.) potted her team-leading 11th goal of the year on a pass from classmate Gabrielle Balestrier (Mohnton, Pa.) to cut her side's deficit to one score heading into the break.
The second stanza featured mostly back and forth play, as the conference counterparts played fairly even for the remainder of the match.
St. Joe's senior keeper Jaci Lorenzen (Windham, Maine) made nine saves in the victory while Brouillette tallied seven stops in a losing effort for the Rams.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 6-1 in the history of the series with Suffolk University. The Monks have now defeated the Rams in three-consecutive meetings and three of the SJC wins over Suffolk have been decided by one goal.
Both teams face GNAC opponents on the road on Saturday. Saint Joseph's plays at Lasell College in a 1:00 PM kick-off while Suffolk faces Mount Ida College at 12:00 PM.
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.