STANDISH, Maine – Second-seeded Saint Joseph's College (14-3-3) will play at #1 Johnson & Wales University (15-6-0) in the 2019 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Soccer Championship on Saturday at 5:00 PM.
HOW THEY GOT HERE:
The Monks advanced to the GNAC Championship game for the second-consecutive season after topping #7 University of Saint Joseph in PK's in the quarterfinal round and #3 Emmanuel College, 2-1, in the semifinal round on Tuesday evening.
The Wildcats have cruised through the tourney so far with convincing wins over #8 Regis (5-0) and #5 Lasell (3-0) in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, respectively.
Quarterfinals - Saturday, November 2 (at high seeds)
Match 1: #1 JWU def. #8 Regis, 5-0
Match 2: #5 Lasell def. #4 Suffolk, 3-2
Match 3: #3 Emmanuel def. #6 Albertus Magnus, 5-2
Match 4: #2 SJC tied #7 USJ, 2-2 (PK-Home)
Semifinals - Tuesday, November 5 (at high seeds)
Match 5: #1 JWU def. #5 Lasell, 3-0
Match 6: #2 SJC def. #3 Emmanuel, 2-1
Championship - Saturday, November 9
Match 7: #2 Saint Joseph's @ #1 Johnson & Wales, 5:00 PM
The winner of today's GNAC Championship game earns an automatic berth into the 2019 NCAA DIII Women's Soccer Championship, which begins on November 16th.
FACTS & FIGURES:
- The Monks currently rank first in the conference in shutouts (8), goals against average (0.82) and fewest goals allowed (18) and are second in assists (35) and third in shots on goal (199), goals (46), shots (367), shots per game (17.5) and corner kicks (100)
- Saint Joseph's is 6-1-1 on the road this fall with the team's lone loss being a 2-1 setback at Emmanuel on September 25th
- A total of 14 different players have scored for the Monks this fall – no conference team has more goal-scoring individuals in 2019
- The Wildcats lead the GNAC in shots (484), goals scored (72), shots per game (23.0), shots on goal (270), assists (41), and corner kicks (115)
- Johnson & Wales is 10-1 at home this season and has won 10 straight at the Scots Miracle-Gro Athletics Complex; the team's only loss was a 7-0 decision versus Brandeis over two months ago (9/7/19)
- The Wildcats have yet to allow a goal in postseason play after posting shutout victories against Regis (5-0) and Lasell (3-0) in the first two rounds of the tourney
- Junior McKenzie Murphy (West Baldwin, Maine) leads a balanced SJC offensive attack with 11 goals and six assists for 28 total points - the fifth-highest total in the GNAC
- Sophomore Ashley Emery (Madison, Maine) is in the midst of a breakout season with eight goals and five assists for 21 points
- Freshman Madison Michaud (Presque Isle, Maine) and sophomore Kayley Mattos (Mahopac, N.Y.) have tallied 16 (6G, 4A) and 10 (4G, 2A) points, respectively, this fall
- Junior Olivia Cairrao (Bristol, R.I.) leads the GNAC in goals (18) and points (43) and is tied for league lead with four game-winners; the standout midfielder was the 2017 GNAC Rookie of the Year and is a two-time First Team All-Conference honoree
- Sophomore forward Jordan Restivo (Utica, N.Y.) has netted 13 goals with nine assists for 35 total points and leads the GNAC with 119 shots
- Senior midfielder Cat Nolan (Center Moriches, N.Y.) and freshman midfielder Alexis Vieira (Warwick, R.I.) have contributed 24 (8G, 8A) and 21 (7G, 7A) points this season, respectively
Saint Joseph's: Sophomore Adia Grogan (Kennebunk, Maine) is 13-4-3 with a 0.88 goals against average and three shutouts in 20 starts this fall. In 1834 minutes between the posts the second-year starter has made 118 saves with 18 goals allowed for an .868 save percentage. She currently leads the conference in games, minutes and save percentage and ranks second in victories and goals against average and third in saves.
Johnson & Wales: Senior Colleen Lynch (New Milford, Conn.) is 14-2-0 with a 0.88 goals against average and four shutouts in 16 starts this season. In 1427 minutes in goal, she has recorded 77 saves with 14 goals against for an .846 save percentage. She currently leads the GNAC in wins and goals against average and ranks second in fewest goals allowed and save percentage.
ATTITUDE REFLECTS LEADERSHIP:
Saint Joseph's Head Coach Jenelle Harris, now in her seventh season at the helm, is 85-43-10 (.613) overall with a 53-21-6 (.663) record in conference play as the Monks' skipper. The three-time GNAC Coach of the Year honoree has guided the Monks to the conference tournament semifinals in three-consecutive seasons and the program's first-ever GNAC Championship last fall.
Johnson and Wales University is coached by Head Coach Chris Flint, who is now in his fifth season. During his tenure at Johnson and Wales, Flint has compiled a 58-21-5 (.691) record with an impressive 50-5-3 (.862) mark in conference play. With 24 years of head coaching experience at the college level – including stints at MCLA and Bryant – Flint has an overall career record of 236-200-38 (.498).
THE LAST TIME WE MET:
The Monks handed the Wildcats their first conference loss with a 2-1 result in overtime at the SJC Athletics Complex on October 26th. Mattos netted the game-winner on a PK attempt with 29 seconds remaining in the first extra frame to bring the Wildcats' 12-game winning streak to a close.
Grogan made 14 saves in the victory as Johnson & Wales held the lead in shots (28-12), shots on goal (15-9), and corner kicks (2-0) on the afternoon. Lynch made seven saves for the Wildcats.
Saint Joseph's is 5-7-4 all-time versus Johnson & Wales University and, with the 2-1 OT win in October, has defeated the Wildcats in three-consecutive meetings for the first time in the history of the series.
The Monks have advanced to the GNAC postseason in 12 of 13 seasons and have played in the semifinal round on five occasions, including last fall when the Royal Blue topped Johnson & Wales, 4-2, en route to defeating Lasell University, 1-0, in the conference championship.
The Wildcats have appeared in the GNAC Tournament in 18 of the last 23 seasons with GNAC Championships in 2000 and 2005.