GNAC Semifinal Preview: #3 Norwich @ Saint Joseph's

GNAC Semifinal Preview: #3 Norwich @ Saint Joseph's

STANDISH, Maine – #2 Saint Joseph's College (15-1-3, 9-0-2 GNAC) will host #3 Norwich University (14-3-1, 8-2-1 GNAC) in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Men's Soccer Tournament Semifinal game at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, November 6th.


Both teams advanced to the semifinals with narrow quarterfinal victories on Saturday. The Monks edged #7 Emmanuel College by a 2-1 score at the SJC Athletics Complex while the Cadets topped #6 Colby-Sawyer College, 1-0, on their home turf.

Saint Joseph's claimed a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute, when senior Noah Robinson (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) connected for his eighth tally of the year. The SJC lead lasted just over five minutes, as the Saints buried a penalty kick attempt at the 33-minute mark. Junior Noah Elmore (Berlin, Vt.) scored the game-clincher just 5:24 into the second half with a nifty tap-in during a scrum in the goalmouth on a corner kick attempt.

Norwich freshman defender Elias Gabrielsson (Ostersund, Sweden) picked an opportune time to score his first collegiate goal with 15:14 left in the second half to help launch the Cadets to their 16th straight GNAC Semifinal appearance.


Wednesday's winner advances to the GNAC Championship and will face the winner of the GNAC's other semifinal, #1 Johnson & Wales University / #4 University of Saint Joseph, which will be played at 4:00 PM on Wednesday.

The winner of the GNAC Championship game, set to be played at the site of the highest remaining seed on Saturday, November 9th, earns an automatic berth into the 2019 NCAA DIII Men's Soccer Championship, which begins on November 16th.

Quarterfinals - Saturday, November 2 (at high seeds)

Match 1: #1 JWU def. #8 Lasell, 1-1 PK Home
Match 2: #4 USJ def. #5 Albertus Magnus, 1-0
Match 3: #3 Norwich def. #6 Colby-Sawyer, 1-0
Match 4: #2 Saint Joseph's def. #7 Emmanuel, 2-1

Semifinals - Wednesday, November 6 (at high seeds)

Match 5: #4 USJ at #1 JWU, 4:00 PM
Match 6: #3 Norwich vs. #2 Saint Joseph's, 4:00 PM

Championship - Saturday, November 9

Match 7: At highest remaining seed


Saint Joseph's:

  • The Monks lead the conference in goals against average (0.41), fewest goals allowed (8), shutouts (13), corner kicks (150), shots (404), shots per game (21.3), shots on goal (189), and assists (39) and rank second in goals (50)
  • Saint Joseph's is 8-1-1 at the SJC Athletics Complex this fall
  • The Monks' 1-0 setback at the hands of WPI on October 21st brought an end to several of the Monks' lengthy undefeated streaks, as the loss halted a 65-game (59-0-6) regular-season undefeated streak, which included a string of 38-consecutive (34-0-4) home games without a loss
  • Including GNAC tournament contests, the Monks are riding a 51-game undefeated streak versus conference foes – the team's last loss to a GNAC team was a 2-1 quarterfinal setback to Albertus Magnus on November 1st, 2015

Norwich University:

  • The Cadets are second in the conference in shots (363), shots per game (20.2), shots on goal (178), and corner kicks (125) and third in shutouts (8) and assists (38)
  • Norwich is 4-2-1 in away games this fall
  • The Cadets have won four-consecutive contests and not allowed a goal in their last 313:19 minutes


Saint Joseph's:

  • Senior midfielder Mitchell Duncan (Sanford, Maine) leads the team with 19 points off seven goals and five assists
  • Senior defender Noah Robinson (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) has tallied a team-high eight goals with 17 points
  • Sophomore Austin Ward (North Andover, Mass.) is third on the side with 16 points (7G-2A)

Norwich University:

  • Freshman forward Joseph Thongsythavong (Salem, Mass.) is the Cadets' leading scorer with 10 goals and 26 points overall
  • Sophomore forward Amerie Nemeye (Burlington, Vt.) has tallied nine goals and six assists for 24 points
  • Sophomore defender Alex Brannan (Oneonta, N.Y.) leads the team with eight assists and has 12 total points


Saint Joseph's: Junior David Walbridge (Hampden, Mass.) is 14-1-3 with a 0.35 goals against average and seven shutouts in 18 starts as a first-year starter. He has allowed just six goals with 33 saves in 1,558 minutes for an .846 save percentage and currently leads the conference in goals against average and ranks second in fewest goals allowed and save percentage.

Norwich: Freshman Robert Wagenseller (Poway, Calif.) is 14-3-1 with a 0.68 goals against average and five shutouts while starting all 18 of the Cadets' contests this season. With 12 goals allowed and 58 saves in 1,578 minutes, Wagenseller sports an .829 save percentage, the third-best mark in the GNAC. He also leads the conference in minutes and is second in goals against average.


Saint Joseph's Head Coach Will Pike '11 is in the midst of his first season at the helm after serving as an assistant for five years (2012, 2015-18). In his last four years on staff – three as the Monks' top assistant and this fall as the skipper – St. Joe's has posted a 70-4-11 (.824) overall record – including a 37-0-4 (.903) mark in GNAC play.

Norwich Head Coach Adam Pfeifer, now in his fourth season, is 48-14-14 (.631) overall with a 27-4-10 (.659) record in conference play. In his first two years he guided the Cadets to consecutive GNAC Championship game appearances, both versus Saint Joseph's.


Saint Joseph's and Norwich last played in Standish on September 14th, a game that resulted in a 1-1 stalemate. Andrew Kalombo (Worcester, Mass.) put the Cadets on the board in the 22nd minute and SJC sophomore Kuma Onyejose (East Greenwich, R.I.) knotted the contest at 1-1 in the 69th minute.

Norwich held advantages in shots (15-12) and shots on goal (7-5) while St. Joe's posted an 8-7 edge in corner kicks in the deadlock.


Saint Joseph's is 9-4-5 all-time versus Norwich University and has not suffered a setback at the hands of the Cadets in the last seven meetings with a 3-0-4 record since the start of the 2015 campaign. Three of those games finished in scoreless ties, including the 2016 GNAC Championship, which saw the Monks advance via PK's.


The Monks have advanced to the GNAC Tournament every season since the College joined the conference in the fall of 2007. Saint Joseph's is 18-7 in GNAC postseason play with GNAC Championships in 2009, 2011, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Since joining the GNAC in 1999, the Cadets have rattled off 21-consecutive tournament appearances with four conference titles (1999, 2000, 2001, 2008).

The Cadets' triumph over Colby-Sawyer marks the program's 16th-consecutive trip to the semifinals while Saturday's contest. Norwich has played in 11 GNAC Championship games, including five in the last eight years. In 21 seasons as a member of the GNAC, Norwich owns an incredible 34-16 (.680) playoff record, including a stellar 32-2 (.941) mark at home. The Cadets are 3-14 in away tournament games.

The Monks and Cadets have faced off in the GNAC Championship four times with St. Joe's owning a 3-1 record in title bout matchups. Norwich defeated SJC in the 2008 championship, while the Monks prevailed in the 2011, 2016 (via PK's), and 2018 games.





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Founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy in Portland, Maine, Saint Joseph’s College is Maine’s Catholic liberal arts college in the Mercy tradition. We are inclusive of all faiths, including no faith. The 474-acre campus, located on the shore of Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine offers more than 40 undergraduate programs and a Division III athletic program to a population of approximately 1,000 on-campus students. A pioneer of distance education since the 1970s, the College also provides online certificates and undergraduate and graduate degrees for thousands more working adults who reside in more than 20 other countries. In 2015 the College was selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to receive its Community Engagement Classification, highlighting the College’s focus on community service throughout its mission and daily interactions within local, regional, and global communities. In 2018, Princeton Review recognized SJC as one of its “Green Colleges” for its sustainability initiatives. Learn more at