STANDISH, Maine – Saint Joseph's College (2-1-1) defeated University of Southern Maine (3-1-0), 3-2, in an action packed non-conference women's soccer game at the SJC Athletics Complex on Wednesday evening.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
USM struck in the 22nd minute when junior forward Ciera Berthiaume (Windham, Maine) collected a bounding ball about 30 yards out, shrugged off several SJC defenders, and beat sophomore keeper Adia Grogan (Kennebunk, Maine) with a shot inside the left post.
The Monks answered just over 20 minutes later off a somewhat unconventional play. Awarded a free kick on the left side near midfield, St. Joe's brought Grogan forward to take the set piece and the play paid dividends, as the well-placed kick landed near the goal mouth and found the foot of junior McKenzie Murphy (West Baldwin, Maine), who finished with a shot to the right panel of the net.
Saint Joseph's grabbed the lead – for good as it played out – in the 60th minute on a terrific individual effort by sophomore midfielder Ashley Emery (Madison, Maine). Chasing down a loose ball near the right corner, Emery beat a USM defender, turned to goal, and unleashed a pass to junior Brenna Smith (Maynard, Mass.), who headed the sphere into an empty net to make it a 2-1 game.
Down a player after a red card was issued to a defender, the Monks were able to add to their lead with the help of another Grogan blast. Taken from over 50 yards out, the set piece was once again booted into the box where sophomore Eilidh Sidaway (Dedham, Maine) finished with the first goal of her collegiate career.
The Huskies, applying plenty of offensive pressure in the closing minutes, managed to draw within one goal when – at the 88:06 mark - Berthiaume took a shot from outside the top of the box that went through Grogan's outstretched hands into the netting.
Southern Maine held the advantage in shots (23-18) while Saint Joseph's posted a 9-8 edge in shots on goal while both teams were awarded five corner kicks on the evening.
Grogan made six saves and was credited with two assists in the SJC victory while USM freshman Kayla Gorman (Windham, Maine) turned away six shots in the Huskies' setback.
Murphy's goal at the 42:41 mark was the first allowed by Southern Maine this season. Entering tonight's contest, the Huskies had outscored their three opponents by a collective 10-0 score.
With the victory Saint Joseph's improves to 13-17-1 all-time versus University of Southern Maine.
Saint Joseph's opens Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play on Saturday with a 5:00 PM game at Anna Maria College.