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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Founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy in Portland, Maine, Saint Joseph’s College is Maine’s Catholic liberal arts college in the Mercy tradition. We are inclusive of all faiths, including no faith. The 474-acre campus, located on the shore of Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine offers more than 40 undergraduate programs and a Division III athletic program to a population of approximately 1,000 on-campus students. A pioneer of distance education since the 1970s, the College also provides online certificates and undergraduate and graduate degrees for thousands more working adults who reside in more than 20 other countries. In 2015 the College was selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to receive its Community Engagement Classification, highlighting the College’s focus on community service throughout its mission and daily interactions within local, regional, and global communities. In 2018, Princeton Review recognized SJC as one of its “Green Colleges” for its sustainability initiatives. Learn more at www.sjcme.edu.