STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's (5-2, 2-1 GNAC) defeated Anna Maria College (0-8-1, 0-2 GNAC), 3-0, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's soccer contest at Westerlea Way Field on Sunday afternoon. Sophomore striker Zach Johnson (Westbrook, Maine) registered a goal and an assist in the SJC victory.
Johnson kicked off the game scoring with his team-leading fourth goal of the season from inside the 18 off a Ross Suleski '14 (Amesbury, Mass./St. Thomas Aquinas) through-pass 15:59 into the game.
The 1-0 cushion held true for exactly 53 minutes as Teddy Palmer '13 (Scarborough, Maine) beat AMCATS keeper Mike Dandurand '12 (Warwick, R.I.) at the 68:59 mark to double the SJC advantage. Freshman midfielder Jason Wade (South Hampton, N.H.) made the play happen with a terrific lead pass that found the feet of Johnson, who was streaking up the middle of the field. Johnson's momentum continued to the goal mouth and Dandurand left his post to challenge, but the sophomore sniper tapped a short feed to Palmer, who toed the ball into wide-open net.
Freshman midfielder Jose Ossers (Bradford, Mass.) scored his first NCAA goal less than five minutes later on another play designed by Wade, who found his classmate with a lead pass to help the Monks increase their cushion to 3-0 with 14 minutes remaining.
Sophomore keeper Kenny Grade (Hampton, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas) made four saves to earn his second shutout of the year. Dandurand played well, despite the final score, with 11 saves on the afternoon.
St. Joe's controlled the pace of play throughout, as evidenced by a 31-8 shots advantage, in what was the Monks' fourth shutout triumph of the 2011 campaign. With a restructured backline and a pair of fresh faces in goal – Grade and first-year Robert Petrosillo (Methuen, Mass.), Saint Joseph's has allowed just six goals through seven contests this fall.
The Monks also held a slim 6-4 edge in corner kicks while Anna Maria was flagged for 13 fouls to the hosts' nine.
Before today, St. Joe's and Anna Maria – a first-year GNAC member - had never before met on the soccer pitch.
Saint Joseph's will face off against Suffolk University in a key GNAC match on Wednesday while Anna Maria will travel to Eastern Nazerene for a non-conference contest at 4:30 PM on Monday.