Soccer Edged Late at Saint Joseph's (Maine), 2-1, in GNAC Quarterfinals

Soccer Edged Late at Saint Joseph's (Maine), 2-1, in GNAC Quarterfinals

STANDISH, Maine -- The seventh-seeded Simmons University women's soccer team looked like it was destined for overtime, but host number two seed Saint Joseph's College (Maine) scored the game-winner with 6.1 seconds left in the match this afternoon in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship Tournament Quarterfinals at the SJC Athletic Complex in Standish, Maine. The Sharks finish their season with an overall record of 8-8-1, while the Monks improve to 14-3-0 and advance to the GNAC Semifinals. 

Senior forward Haley DaGraca (Saco, Maine) scored her 18th goal of the season on a moving header as time was running out on regulation, but 6.1 ticks still remained on the board as the ball found the back of the net for Saint Joseph's. Sophomore midfielder Madeline Wood (Madison, Maine) collided with a Simmons defender that resulted in a no-call, got off the ground unmarked and proceeded to lift a cross that led DaGraca to the goalmouth where she was able to put her head on the ball for the score in the 90th minute.

The teams played evenly throughout the match, despite the seeding disparity, with the Monks holding a 13-11 shot advantage in contrast to Simmons owning a 7-4 margin on corner kicks.

The teams were scoreless after one of half of play, despite a shot off the crossbar, late in the opening half, off the foot of sophomore forward Cierra Martin (Rockaway, N.Y.) for the Sharks. 

Saint Joseph's cracked the scoring column early in the second stanza with 38:43 left in the match. Sophomore forward Brenna Smith (Maynard, Mass.) sent a long cross from the right corner of the field to set up classmate McKenzie Murphy (West Baldwin, Maine) in front of the right post for her fifth goal of the year and a 1-0 lead for the Monks in the 52nd minute of play.

The Sharks evened the score at 1-1 in the 77th minute when they took advantage of a Saint Joseph's foul. Senior back Erin Fleming (Boylston, Mass.) took the free kick from just inside of midfield and watched the ball hit the turf and take off on a skip over the Monks' keeper and into the back of the net for Fleming's first collegiate marker to make it 1-1.

Senior keeper Lauren Wiliams (Bowdoinham, Maine) recorded five saves in her final career match for Simmons, while first year goalie Adia Grogan (Kennebunk, Maine) made three stops for Saint Joseph's.