WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's soccer team fell to the Saint Joseph's College of Maine Monks, 2-0, in the Blue Jays' and Monks' Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) opener on Saturday afternoon at the USJ Soccer Field. With the setback, the Blue Jays fall to 2-2-0 overall and 0-1-0 in the GNAC on the year, while the Monks improve to 3-0-0 and 1-0-0. Saint Joseph will return to the pitch next in Weston, Mass. on Saturday, September 15th for another GNAC match versus Regis. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m.
The scoreless stalemate was broken in ignominious fashion, as at the 81:42 mark the Blue Jays were charged with an own goal after a clearing attempt off the goal line struck another USJ player and ricocheted into the hosts' net.
The Monks doubled their advantage less than six minutes later when freshman Kayley Mattos (Mahopac, N.Y.) scored her first collegiate goal at the 87:09 mark. Senior Haley DaGraca (Saco, Maine) set up the play with a long left-to-right crossing pass and Mattos finished with a shot, taken from just outside the 18-yard box, into the upper left 90.
Monks freshman goalkeeper Adia Grogan (Kennebunk, Maine) turned away all four shots she faced, including a fantastic diving stop on a free-kick attempt by USJ's graduate senior Jessica Spezzano (Watertown, Conn.) in the 29th minute, to register her third shutout in as many collegiate starts.
USJ junior keeper Megan Ricci (Center Moriches, N.Y.) made five saves in a losing effort to drop her record to 2-2-0 on the season between the pipes for the Blue Jays.
The Monks held slight edges in shots (14-11) and shots on goal (7-4), while the Blue Jays posted an 8-4 lead in corner kicks on the afternoon.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's College of Maine is now 8-3-3 in the history of the series with the Blue Jays. The Monks have defeated USJ in three consecutive meetings and have not lost to Saint Joseph since falling 6-0 to their conference counterpart on October 4th, 2014.
The USJ women's soccer team will be back in action next on Saturday, September 15th at Regis (Mass.) beginning at 2:30 p.m.