DaGraca Nets Late Game-Winner, Monks Advance to GNAC Semifinals

DaGraca Nets Late Game-Winner, Monks Advance to GNAC Semifinals

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.


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.




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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.