NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The fifth-seeded University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's soccer team got the better of its bitter rivals this time around, dominating the fourth-seeded Falcons of Albertus Magnus College (AMC) in their own backyard, 4-0, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Quarterfinal match Saturday afternoon at Celentano Field. With the upset victory, the Blue Jays advance to the GNAC Semifinals for the second straight season. It is also the second straight quarterfinal win over AMC in as many seasons.
A quartet of Blue Jays found the back of the cage on a slippery and soaked Saturday afternoon on the pitch. Junior midfielders Juan Torres (Hartford, Conn.) and Mergim Kutllovci (Thomaston, Conn.), along with junior forward Benjamin Marchetti (Higganum, Conn.) all scored for USJ. Senior forward DeAnte Anderson (Bloomfield, Conn.) put the exclamation point on this one with his 21st goal of 2021; a missile sent into the net in the 84th minute.
Sophomore goalie Jose Miguel Garcia Martin (Madrid, Spain) picked up the win in his postseason debut for the visitors. He had six saves in 90 minutes of shutout soccer, and is now 6-3-1 on the year. The stats tell a different story in this one, with shots (13-12 USJ) and corner kicks (6-5 USJ) neck and neck; the Blue Jays just found a way to cash in on their opportunities, and maintained the momentum in the process.
Score: #5 Saint Joseph 4, #4 Albertus Magnus 0
Records: USJ 12-4-1, AMC 10-5-1
Location: Celentano Field | New Haven, Conn.
Notes: GNAC Quarterfinals
COACH QUOTE [Paul Wright] "I am really proud of the effort from the whole squad, and the mentality of this team. We went down there in a tough environment and were able to get a great result. It's a local rivalry, so emotions can run high. We've had history in the playoffs in the past, there's tension there, so that just adds a little bit to the game, and I thought we handled it pretty well. Even though the conditions were tough, we executed our gameplan very well, and finished off our opportunities that we created. I am excited about the challenge, whoever we play this postseason. I believe in our team. We believe in ourselves. We are ready for it."
The Blue Jays are headed to the GNAC Semifinals for the second straight season. The fifth-seeded Blue Jays will travel to Standish, Maine to take on top-seeded Saint Joseph's College of Maine, winners of three of the last four GNAC Men's Soccer Championships. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 2. The Monks beat the Blue Jays, 2-0, on September 10 earlier this season in West Hartford in both team's conference openers.
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