STANDISH, Maine – Lasell College (6-3, 6-0 GNAC) scored three goals in the first half to hold off Saint Joseph's College (7-2, 5-2 GNAC), 3-2, in a hard fought Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's soccer game at the SJC Athletics Complex on Wednesday night.
Trailing 3-0 going into the second half, the Monks rallied with goals from sophomore Brenna Smith (Maynard, Mass.) and senior Emily Thornton (Westbrook, Maine) in the 51st and 84th minutes, respectively, but ultimately fell short in the key conference contest.
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The Lasers, winners of the last eight GNAC Championships, grabbed an early lead when freshman Serena Speight (Biddeford, Maine) scored her third goal of the season at the 15:28 mark. Three minutes earlier, St. Joe's senior Haley DaGraca (Saco, Maine) missed scoring by mere inches when she rattled a shot off the crossbar.
Senior Carly Zdanek (Newton, N.J.) doubled the visitors' advantage nine minutes later and senior Erika Badger (Scituate, Mass.) hit pay dirt with 12 minutes left in the first half to lift her team to a daunting 3-0 cushion.
The SJC offense showed signs of life early in the second stanza when Smith potted her second goal of the season, off a Colleen Sheehan (Medway, Mass.) assist, 5:40 minutes into the latter frame. The 3-1 score remained until the 83:46 mark when Thornton cut her team's deficit down to one goal with a strike off a DaGraca feed.
SJC freshman Adia Grogan (Kennebunk, Maine) made four saves in the loss while Lasell freshman goalie Angela Sanzari (North Haven, Conn.) registered three stops on the evening.
The Lasers held the advantage in shots (10-6), shots on goal (7-5), and corner kicks (9-1) in the conference matchup.
With the loss, Saint Joseph's falls to 5-10-2 all-time versus Lasell College. The Monks have not defeated the Lasers since the 2011 season.
Both teams take to the road to face GNAC foes on Saturday, when Saint Joseph's plays at Suffolk University at 3:00 PM and Lasell travels to Simmons University for an 11:00 PM kick-off.