PORTLAND, Maine - The fourth-seeded Saint Joseph's College (Maine) women's soccer team scored two unanswered goals in the second half to come away with a 3-1 victory over visiting number five seed Simmons College this afternoon at Deering Memorial Stadium in Portland, Maine in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship Tournament Quarterfinals. The Sharks fall to 8-9-2 on the season, while the Monks improve to 10-6-3.
Saint Joseph's advances to the semifinals to take on top-seeded Lasell College, which defeated University of Saint Joseph (Conn.), 2-0, earlier in the day. The match will be on November 2 in Newton, Mass.
Sophomore forward Haley DaGraca (Saco, Maine) led the Monks with a pair of goals, including the game-winner.
Saint Joseph's owned a 17-15 shot margin and a 5-4 edge on corner kicks for the match.
DaGraca put the Monks on the board when she collected a high bounding cross from sophomore forward Emily Thornton (Westbrook, Maine) in front of the net and scored her 19th goal of the season at the 18:31 mark.
The goal came four minutes after Simmons sophomore Cíara Forde's (Quincy, Mass.) shot went wide left of the net.
The Sharks looked to get on the board in the 34th minute when junior back Liz Donovan (Nashua, N.H.) uncorked a shot that was headed for just under the crossbar, but the Saint Joseph's keeper was able to jump into the air to punch it away. Simmons kept the pressure on and with 1:45 left in the half, tied the match with its only score of the afternoon. First year forward Rachel Gilbert (Falmouth, Mass.) sent a short cross from the right post to Forde just in front of the net for a shot into the far post that resulted in her seventh marker of the season to knot the contest at 1-1.
Simmons looked to carry the momentum into the second half, but DaGraca collected a loose ball in the box and put it into the back of the net just 55 seconds into the stanza for her 20th tally of the year and a 2-1 Monks' lead.
Saint Joseph's added an insurance goal at 69:01 of the second stanza, when junior midfielder Sarah Comtois (Lowell, Mass.) fired a shot on goal that was saved by the Sharks' keeper, but Comtois corralled her own rebound for the put back and her seventh tally of the season for a 3-1 lead.
The Sharks looked to cut the deficit to one in the closing minutes when junior midfielder Kashka Gammon (Nashua, N.H.) fired a shot that went right of the post in the 86th minute. She was denied again by the Monks' keeper with just 16 seconds left in the match.
Junior keeper Casey Halle (Watertown, Mass.) finished with nine saves for Simmons, while junior goalie Brooke Troup (East Bridgewater, Mass.) earned the victory with seven stops for Saint Joseph's.