MEDFORD, Mass. - #17 Saint Joseph's College (19-0-1) outlasted Mitchell College (9-9-1), 2-1, in the first round of the NCAA DIII Men's Soccer Tournament at Bello Field on the campus of Tufts University on Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's advances in the NCAA tourney for the second-consecutive season and will face #3 Tufts University (15-1-2) at Bello Field at 1:00 PM on Sunday. For Mitchell, the loss signals the end of the 2017 campaign.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Applying all of the offensive pressure early, the Monks grabbed the lead at the 24:44 mark when sophomore Cody Elliott (Gorham, Maine) delivered a corner kick into the box, where junior Brett Mattos (Mahopac, N.Y.) knocked in a header for his team-leading 20th goal of the season.
Saint Joseph's tacked on what proved to be a necessary goal in the 69th minute when freshman Quinn Hewitt (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) scored his third of the season on a pass from junior Jesse Ramirez (Dumont, N.J.). Taking a free kick from outside the box on the right, Ramirez sent in a bounding feed to Hewitt, who chipped a left-footed shot into the far corner.
Five minutes later, the Mariners made things interesting when freshman Quinn Outerbridge (Hamilton, Bermuda) slipped a shot past SJC junior keeper Blake Mullen (Manchester, Conn.), making it a 2-1 game. Working in the middle of a crowded box, Outerbridge sent a grounder just inside the right post past Mullen, who dove to his left to no avail. The Monks' goalie was partially screened on the play and had little chance to make a stop.
Mitchell continued to apply pressure and very nearly knotted the game with five minutes remaining, but a shot that found the back of the net was negated by an offside call.
Mullen made one stop to pick up his 19th victory of the season while Mitchell sophomore netminder Seth Strader (Preston, Conn.) was outstanding with 10 saves, including several acrobatic plays, in a losing effort.
Saint Joseph's held sizeable leads in shots (21-3), shots on goal (12-2), and corner kicks (12-0) in the victory.
- The Mariners' goal snaps a 19-game shutout streak – the longest in NCAA Men's Soccer history - for the Monks and also brings an end to Mullen's NCAA record scoreless minutes streak (1,706:09)
- Even though the Monks advanced to the second round of the national tourney last fall, today's result technically counts as the first NCAA Tournament victory in SJC men's soccer history – the Monks' PK win over Babson College last year is ruled as a tie according to the NCAA Soccer Statistician's Manual
- The Mattos strike counts as the first NCAA Tournament goal in the history of the SJC men's soccer program
- Mattos now has 39 career goals and surpasses Doug MacCallum '10 for the Monks' career goals record
- Interestingly, the Monks' first goal allowed this season was also the first career tally for Outerbridge
With the victory, Saint Joseph's is now 2-2 all-time versus Mitchell College. These two programs last met during the 2006 campaign.
St. Joe's is now 1-3-1 in four trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.