Women’s Soccer: Monks Clip Blue Jays
9/11/22 – Saint Joseph’s College (1-3-0, 1-0-0 GNAC) fought back from a 2-1 deficit with three unanswered goals in the second half to defeat University of Saint Joseph (1-3-0, 0-1-0 GNAC), 4-2, in what was the 2022 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women’s soccer season opener for both programs at the SJC Athletics Complex on Sunday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Sophomore Alicen Burnham (Monmouth, Maine) lifted the Monks to an early lead when she scored her first goal of the season just 2:30 into the game. The Blue Jays proceeded to take the lead when senior Maxine Muscatello (Berlin, Conn.) scored the game’s subsequent two goals, first at the 13:47 mark and then again – off a Jenna Zup (Berlin, Conn.) feed – in the 43rd minute.
After making halftime adjustments, Saint Joseph’s came out firing in the second stanza and tied the contest in the 56th minute when the freshman duo of Sydney Gallop (Hermon, Maine) and Lelia Weir (Bar Harbor, Maine) connected on a free kick from the latter and a perfect header by the former.
The conference contest changed pace in the 58th minute following a scrum in front of the USJ net that resulted in a red card after a Blue Jay defender swatted a shot away with her hand. As a result, University of Saint Joseph was forced to play a man down for the remainder of the afternoon and senior Madison Michaud (Presque Isle, Maine) was awarded a penalty kick attempt, which was turned away by USJ freshman netminder Chandler Douglas (North Haven, Conn.) with a nice diving stab.
Playing in a ‘man-up’ situation for the closing 32 minutes, the Monks poured on the offensive pressure and outshot the Blue Jays by a 36-3 margin in the latter half. Douglas managed to keep her team in the game with several outstanding saves, but could not prevent the game-winning goal, which was scored by Burnham in the 65th minute. Senior defender Keelin Sweeney (Hollis, Maine) set up the score with a long kick on target from midfield as her shot was stopped by Douglas, but the visiting keeper was unable to control the rebound as Burnham pilfered the loose ball and tapped it in the empty net for a 3-2 lead.
Saint Joseph’s applied relentless pressure for the rest of the contest but did not hit pay dirt until the 89:07 mark when Aaliyah Wilson-Falcone (Winthrop, Maine) scored on a perfect cross near the goalmouth from Michaud.
Saint Joseph’s held sizable leads in shots (46-7), shots on goal (22-6), and corner kicks (16-1) on the afternoon.
SJC junior Carly Downey (Yarmouth, Maine) made four saves in the victory while Douglas turned away 16 shots in a losing effort.
With the triumph, Saint Joseph’s improves to 9-4-5 all-time versus University of Saint Joseph and defeats the Blue Jays for the first time since September 8th, 2018 (2-0). SJC suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of USJ last fall and played to a pair of ties during the 2019 campaign.