STANDISH, Maine – #2 Saint Joseph's College (13-3-3, 9-2-1 GNAC) will host #3 Emmanuel College (10-8-1, 8-3-1 GNAC) in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Soccer Tournament Semifinal game at 6:15 PM on Tuesday, November 5th.
HOW THEY GOT HERE:
Both teams advanced beyond the quarterfinal round with victories on Saturday afternoon, when Saint Joseph's slipped past #7 University of Saint Joseph in the second round of penalty kicks and Emmanuel toppled #6 Albertus Magnus College by a 5-2 score.
The Monks trailed for the better part of the game versus the Blue Jays but tied the contest with less than five minutes remaining in regulation with a Madison Michaud (Presque Isle, Maine) tally. After two 10-minute overtime periods failed to produce a winner, the tilt headed to PK's where senior Hailey Tarr (Eliot, Maine) scored in the first round of the second set to send her team to the semifinal round.
Emmanuel freshman forward Megan McMillen (North Branford, Conn.) scored her first collegiate hat trick to lift the Saints over the Falcons, 5-2, at Roberto Clemente Field on Saturday. The Saints dominated possession in the victory and held leads in shots (24-13) and shots on goal (15-7) on the afternoon.
Tuesday's winner advances to the GNAC Championship and will face the winner of the GNAC's other semifinal, #1 Johnson & Wales University / #5 Lasell University, which will be played at 7:00 PM on Tuesday.
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 Women's Soccer Championship, which begins on November 16th.
Quarterfinals - Saturday, November 2 (at high seeds)
Match 1: #1 JWU def. #8 Regis, 5-0
Match 2: #5 Lasell def. #4 Suffolk, 3-2
Match 3: #3 Emmanuel def. #6 Albertus Magnus, 5-2
Match 4: #2 SJC tied #7 USJ, 2-2 (PK-Home)
Semifinals - Tuesday, November 5 (at high seeds)
Match 5: #5 Lasell at #1 JWU - 7:00 PM
Match 6: #3 Emmanuel at #2 SJC – 6:15 PM
Championship - Saturday, November 9
Match 7: At highest remaining seed
FACTS & FIGURES:
- The Monks currently rank first in the conference in shutouts (8), goals against average (0.81) and fewest goals allowed (17) and are second in assists (34) and shots on goal (192), and third in goals (44), shots (348), shots per game (17.4) and corner kicks (97)
- Saint Joseph's is 7-1-2 at the SJC Athletics Complex this fall with the lone loss being a 1-0 setback at the hands of non-conference opponent Emerson College
- A total of 14 different players have scored for the Monks this fall – no conference team has more goal-scoring individuals in 2019
- The Saints currently rank second in the GNAC in shot percentage (.153), third in shot-on-goal percentage (.576), fourth in assists (30), goals against average (1.39), fewest goals allowed (27), and fifth in goals (39)
- Emmanuel is 4-6-0 on the road this season
- The Saints head into the semifinal riding a five-game undefeated streak with all five matches being versus GNAC opponents
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
- Junior McKenzie Murphy (West Baldwin, Maine) leads a balanced SJC offensive attack with 11 goals and six assists for 28 total points - the fifth-highest total in the GNAC
- Sophomore Ashley Emery (Madison, Maine) is in the midst of a breakout season with eight goals and four assists for 20 points
- Freshman Madison Michaud (Presque Isle, Maine) and sophomore Kayley Mattos (Mahopac, N.Y.) have tallied 16 (6G, 4A) and 10 (4G, 2A) points, respectively, this fall
- Senior forward Natalie Dash (East Hampton, Conn.) - The Saints went 5-0-0 in GNAC play this season in games that Dash recorded a point in. She enters the tourney ranked tied for eighth in the GNAC in goals scored (9) and 10th in the GNAC in points (21)
- Freshman forward Megan McMillen (Branford, Conn.) - McMillen missed most of her rookie campaign due to a back injury but returned last week and has scored four goals over three games including a hat-trick in the GNAC Quarterfinals
- Senior defender Kaylin Deschenes (Lynn, Mass.) – The 2018 GNAC Defensive Player of the Year helped EC post four shutouts this season while also collecting 10 points on four goals and two assists
Saint Joseph's: Sophomore Adia Grogan (Kennebunk, Maine) is 12-4-3 with a 0.88 goals against average and three shutouts in 19 starts this fall. In 1744 minutes between the posts the second-year starter has made 114 saves with 17 goals allowed for an .870 save percentage. She currently leads the conference in games, minutes, goals against average, and save percentage, is second in victories, and ranks third in saves and fewest goals allowed.
Emmanuel: First year Alyssa Crugnale (Middleton, Mass.) earned the starting nod for the GNAC postseason after stepping up in her time in net this season. She entered the GNAC postseason ranked second in the conference with a 0.92 goals against average and third in the GNAC with an .838 save percentage.
ATTITUDE REFLECTS LEADERSHIP:
Saint Joseph's Head Coach Jenelle Harris, now in her seventh season at the helm, is 84-43-10 (.613) overall with a 53-21-6 (.663) record in conference play as the Monks' skipper. Last fall, the three-time GNAC Coach of the Year honoree has guided the Monks to the conference tournament semifinals in three-consecutive seasons and the program's first-ever GNAC Championship last fall.
Emmanuel Head Coach Greg Visinho is in his second year at the helm for the Saints and owns a 24-14-1 career record, including a 17-6-1 (.729) mark in GNAC play. In his first season as the Saints' clipboard carrier, he led the Saints to a conference low 0.82 goals against average, setting the program record with 10 shutouts and landed a program-record five players to the GNAC All-Conference First team a year ago.
THE LAST TIME WE MET:
Emmanuel edged St. Joe's, 2-1, in Boston this season on September 25th. The Saints were without leading scorer Natalie Dash for most of the game after she suffered an ankle injury in a collision with Grogan but the Saints received second half goals from first year forward Jill Kutash (Mattapoisett, Mass.) and sophomore back Kennedy Davignon (Woodstock, Conn.) to pick up the win.
Emmanuel is 11-5-0 all-time versus Saint Joseph's College which includes a 1-0-0 record in GNAC tournament play when EC bested the Monks by a 2-0 score on Nov. 2, 2014 in the GNAC Quarterfinals.
The Monks have advanced to the GNAC postseason in 12 of 13 seasons and have played in the semifinal round on five occasions, including last fall when the Royal Blue topped Johnson & Wales, 4-2, en route to defeating Lasell University, 1-0, in the conference championship.
The Saints are 19-17-2 all-time in the GNAC tournament, most recently making a run to the championship game in both the 2014 and 2015 playoffs. Last year, Emmanuel lost to Lasell in the semifinals of the GNAC Tournament, 1-0, falling to the No. 1 seed in overtime.