STANDISH, ME – Freshman Desiree Parent (Westborough, Mass.) broke a scoreless tie with a goal in the 74th minute to help lift Saint Joseph's College (15-3, 9-2 GNAC) past University of Southern Maine (5-12, 2-4 LEC), 1-0, in a non-conference women's soccer match at Westerlea Way Field on Wednesday afternoon.
Both teams had chances to score, but the stalemate stood until the 73:37 mark when Parent potted her fifth goal of the season off a beautiful lead pass from senior Ashley Beaulieu (Durham, Maine). Finding a seam up the middle of the field, Beaulieu utilized her speed to push past a pack of Southern Maine defenders in the box, where she lifted a pass upfield to Parent. The first-year forward, who was streaking towards the left post, controlled the feed and chipped a shot into the right corner of the net past USM senior keeper Katie Cobb (Lewiston, Maine) for the game's lone score.
The Monks had several excellent scoring opportunities in the second stanza, perhaps none better than a Hannah LeBlanc (Andover, Mass.) bid in the 58th minute. Sophomore Whitney White (Salem, N.H.) sailed a well-placed ball in the box, where LeBlanc was stationed near the right post and belted a close-range shot that was snuffed with a nice save by Cobb.
LeBlanc and Beaulieu both had chances to break the deadlock in the following 10 minutes, but both kicks were shot directly at the USM goalkeeper for easy stops.
Saint Joseph's goalkeeper Jaci Lorenzen (Windham, Maine) made seven saves to notch her ninth shutout of the season while Cobb also tallied seven stops in a losing effort.
Saint Joseph's recorded a 17-12 advantage in shots and held a 5-0 lead in corner kicks on the afternoon.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 10-14-1 in the history of the series with University of Southern Maine. The Monks have been victorious in six of the last nine meetings with the Huskies.
Prior to the start of the match, a brief ceremony was held to honor the Monks' six seniors: Lorenzen, Beaulieu, Kelsea Marchand (Boscawen, N.H.), Jessica Capozzi (Saugus, Mass.), Lauren Chouinard (Gorham, Maine) and Emily Cocciardi (Middleton, Mass.). With this group of the pitch, Saint Joseph's has posted a 47-22-10 (.681) overall record and a 24-15-9 (.615) in Great Northeast Athletic Conference play over the past four seasons.
Saint Joseph's resumes play on Saturday when the third-seeded Monks host #6 Suffolk University in a GNAC Tournament Quarterfinal slated to start at 2:30 PM. University of Southern Maine closes out the regular seasons with a Little East Conference match at Keene State College at 1:00 PM on Saturday.
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.