STANDISH, Maine – Senior Haley DaGraca (Saco, Maine) scored with 6.1 seconds remaining in regulation to lift second-seeded Saint Joseph's College (14-3-0) past #7 Simmons College (8-8-1), 2-1, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Soccer Tournament quarterfinal at the SJC Athletics Complex on Sunday afternoon.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's advances to the semifinal round for the third-consecutive season and will host #3 Johnson & Wales University at 4:00 PM on Wednesday. The Wildcats toppled #6 Colby-Sawyer College by a 10-0 margin in a quarterfinal match on Friday evening.
With the loss, the Sharks' 2018 campaign comes to a close.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Sophomore McKenzie Murphy (West Baldwin, Maine) broke a scoreless tie with her fifth goal of the year off a Brenna Smith (Maynard, Mass.) pass at the 51:17 mark and the Monks' edge remained until the 77th minute, when senior Erin Fleming (Boylston, Mass.) scored off a free kick to knot the game at one apiece.
The game seemed destined for overtime, but the Monks caught a break when sophomore Madeline Wood (Madison, Maine) broke free after colliding with a Simmons defender and delivered a left-to-right crossing pass to DaGraca, who was moving towards the goal in the middle of the box and one-timed a header off the fingertips of Sharks keeper Lauren Williams (Bowdoinham, Maine) and into the back of the net.
SJC freshman Adia Grogan (Kennebunk, Maine) made three saves in the victory while Williams, a senior, turned away five shots in the losing effort.
Saint Joseph's held slight advantages in shots (13-11) and shots on goal (7-4) while Simmons posted a 7-4 lead in corner kicks.
The Monks are now 8-5-1 all-time versus the Sharks and avenge a 3-2 regular-season loss at the hands of Simmons with today's victory.