STANDISH, Maine – #2 Saint Joseph's College (14-3-3) scored twice in a matter of four minutes midway through the second half to defeat #3 Emmanuel College (10-9-1), 2-1, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's soccer tournament semifinal at the SJC Athletics Complex on Tuesday evening.
With the victory, the Monks continue their quest to repeat as GNAC Champions and will play at Johnson & Wales University in the 2019 conference title bout on Saturday, start time TBD.
For Emmanuel, the hard fought setback brings an end to the 2019 season.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Facing a 1-0 deficit late, the Monks showed a sense of urgency with consistent offensive effort and the hard work paid off at the 72:15 mark, when senior Hannah Butler (Melrose, Mass.) collected a loose ball in the box and launched a kick off the crossbar that deflected straight down and across the goal line.
With momentum now clearly in their favor, the Monks continued to possess in Emmanuel's defensive end and managed to net what proved to be the game winner less than four minutes later. Sophomore Ashley Emery (Madison, Maine) set up the play with a shot from the left side of the box that sailed just below the crossbar on the right side of the net, but Emmanuel freshman keeper Alyssa Crugnale (Middleton, Mass.) jumped to her left to punch the ball away. Fortunately for the Monks, sophomore Emma Auclair (Kittery, Maine) was racing to the right goal post and followed her own shot into an empty net for the clincher.
Emmanuel came out strong in the first half and took advantage of an SJC defensive lapse to grab a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute. Freshman Megan McMillen (North Branford, Conn.) put her team on the board with her fifth goal of the season off a well-placed shot to the upper left corner as the Saints headed into intermission with the one-goal advantage.
SJC sophomore netminder Adia Grogan (Kennebunk, Maine) turned away four shots in the victory while Crugnale made five saves in a losing effort for the Saints.
Saint Joseph's held a 19-6 advantage in shots – including a 12-1 lead in the second half – with a 7-5 edge in shots on goal on the evening. Both teams were awarded three corner kicks.
With tonight's victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 6-11-0 all-time versus Emmanuel College. The Saints defeated the Monks by the same 2-1 score in Boston earlier this season.
*Release courtesy of SJM Athletic Communications