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Second-Half Surge Gives Monks 2-0 Edge Over Men's Soccer

Second-Half Surge Gives Monks 2-0 Edge Over Men's Soccer

WEST HARTFORD, Conn.  The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's soccer team hung tough in a physical on-field battle with Saint Joseph's College of Maine (SJC), but ultimately lost, 2-0, in its Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) opening and home opening match on the USJ Soccer Field Friday evening.

An enthusiastic crowd huddled around the benches across the field for a hotly contested conference match. Both teams played to a scoreless first-half draw. In the second half, the intensity ramped up as both goalies continued to one-up the other with impressive saves (10 combined between the two for the game). The Monks were finally able to cash in with two goals in just over a minute span, the first was an own goal after a solid corner kick from grad student defender Colin Grant (Harvard, Mass.) bounced off a Blue Jay, accidentally sending it into the net in the 61st minute. Amidst all the chaos of what had just happened, the Monks quickly pushed the tempo again, as Grant gave SJC another strong corner kick from the left side, and this time, senior and fellow captain Michael Wildes (Winslow, Maine) was able to get a header into the right side of the cage for a clean second goal. The momentum had shifted completely, and despite numerous late attempts in Monk territory, the Blue Jays were unable to find the back of the net. Senior forward DeAnte Anderson (Bloomfield, Conn.), fresh off his record-setting five goals Wednesday night at Trinity, was held scoreless Friday night despite taking five shots, one of them landing on goal in a one-on-one situation with SJC's keeper in the first half.   

GAME INFORMATION
Score:  Saint Joseph's College 2, University of Saint Joseph 0
Records: SJC 1-0-1 (1-0-0 GNAC), USJ 2-1 (0-1 GNAC)
Location: USJ Soccer Field | West Hartford, Conn.

COACH QUOTE [Paul Wright]
"I think it was a game of two halves. The first half I thought we played them very well, and we created numerous opportunities, and their goalkeeper [David Walbridge] came up big two or three times to stop us, and you have to give credit where credit is due. In the second half, they outplayed us for the most part, and created better opportunities. Unfortunately we suffered from a couple of set pieces in a quick five-minute spell, tried to respond, created some half chances late in the game, but it wasn't enough tonight."

GAME NOTES

  • The Monks got their opportunities on the corner kick, holding a 10-3 advantage overall.
  • Both teams traded shots throughout, with SJC holding a slight 15-13 edge.
  • First time the Blue Jays have been shutout since October 2019, a 3-0 loss to Saint Joseph's College of Maine.

NUMBER TO KNOW

3 – The Blue Jays are now 0-3 all-time against the Monks, being outscored, 10-0.

GOALIE BREAKDOWN

USJ
 – Sophomore goalie Jose Miguel Garcia Martin (Madrid, Spain) made a series of acrobatic saves, including one with the offhand that saved a sure goal moments into the second half. Another came on a penalty kick from Grant that would've made it 3-0, instead it was denied by Garcia Martin. In the end, he picked up his first loss of his career (1-1), allowing two goals and making six saves in the full 90 minutes of action.

SJC  All six-foot five of graduate student David Walbridge (Hampden, Mass.) was used in goal for the Monks Friday night, making four key saves, including a late header from Anderson, to secure his first win of 2021 (1-0-1). It was a 90-minute shutout for Walbridge.

UP NEXT
It's back to the road for the Blue Jays, who look to secure their third win of the season in a non-conference match against UMass-Dartmouth on Wednesday, September 15. Kickoff is expected at 7:00 p.m. under the lights of Cressy Field.

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