Providence, R.I. – With home field advantage on the line for the Great Northeast Athletic Conference playoffs, the Johnson & Wales University men's soccer team hosted #24 Saint Joseph's College at the Scotts Miracle Gro Athletic Complex on Saturday afternoon. JWU needed to tie or win to hold the top seed and accomplished their goal of hosting throughout the second season with the 0-0 result.
Saint Joseph's (ME): 13-1-3 (8-0-2 GNAC)
Johnson & Wales: 14-2-1 (9-0-1 GNAC)
JWU - Nick Gutekunst: 2 shots on goal
SJC - David Walbridge (T, 12-1-3) 4 saves
JWU - Austin Scoggin (T, 12-2-1) 8 saves
There clearly was a playoff atmosphere throughout this match as both teams were physical, skilled, and aggressive. The first portion of the opening half found both teams feeling each other out as the ball travelled mostly at midfield. From there, the Monks pressured the Wildcats consistently with JWU wrestling control from time to time.
JWU's keeper, Austin Scoggins saw shots six shots in the first half while his counterpart for the Monks, David Walbridge only saw two. The second half was a different story as Saint Joseph's came out with increased desire to put a ball past. With ten shots in the second and four in the overtimes, the Monks peppered Scoggins, who was up to the test and kept the sheet clean.
The Wildcats had two substantial opportunities to put a number on the board in the second half. The first came from Garrett Groeling when he blasted a shot from the 18 that Walbridge launched himself to the left to deflect. If the 6'5 Walbridge had been 6'2, the ball was going through. The second was a penalty kick awarded to JWU that Nick Gutekunst missed high on later in the second half.
Knowing that a tie gave the Wildcats the top seed, barring an upset from their final match against Regis, JWU found themselves in a strictly defensive posture which allotted the Monks the shot advantage 20-7 as well as the corner edge, 8-3.
Saint Joseph's will host Anna Maria College on Wednesday at 7:00 PM.
COURTESY OF JWU SPORTS INFORMATION