STANDISH, Maine – Top-seeded Saint Joseph’s College (17-0-1) handled #5 Regis (Mass.) (10-8-1), 6-0, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Men’s Soccer Tournament Semifinal at the SJC Athletics Complex on Wednesday afternoon.
With the shutout, Saint Joseph’s breaks the NCAA Men’s Soccer (all three levels) record with 18 consecutive shutouts. The previous record of 17 straight shutouts was set by Drew University during the 2003 campaign.
Saint Joseph’s junior goalkeeper Blake Mullen (Manchester, Conn.) extended his consecutive shutout minutes streak to 1,505 minutes and 36 seconds, which also counts as the longest stretch without yielding a goal in the history of NCAA Men’s Soccer.
Today’s victory sets up a rematch of the 2016 conference title game, as Saint Joseph’s will host #3 Norwich University in the 2017 GNAC Championship on Saturday at 1:00 PM. The Monks and Cadets dueled to a 0-0 stalemate in last year’s championship, with the former outdueling the latter in penalty kicks, 4-2.
Norwich returns to the championship game after upsetting #2 Johnson & Wales University, 2-1, in other semifinal action this afternoon. The Monks and Cadets played to a 0-0 tie earlier this fall.
With the loss, Regis (Mass.) – a first-year GNAC member – bows out of the tournament.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Monks kicked off the game scoring in the 13th minute, when sophomores Cody Elliott (Gorham, Maine) and Mitchell Duncan (Sanford, Maine) connected to provide their team with an early lead. Working in the right corner, Duncan delivered a perfect right-to-left cross to Elliott, who headed the ball in for his second goal of the season.
The 1-0 lead remained until the 63rd minute, when junior Brett Mattos (Mahopac, N.Y.) scored on a beautiful bicycle kick bid off a Sean Baker (Medfield, Mass.) pass. The Monks tacked on goals from Ryan Buonaiuto (Scituate, R.I.) and Jesse Ramirez (Dumont, N.J.) during a four-minute span and freshman Noah Elmore (Berlin, Vt.) notched a pair of markers just five minutes apart to close out the scoring ledger.
Mullen picked up the victory and improves to 17-0-1 after stopping the only shot he faced in 81 minutes and 29 seconds of action. Junior Coleman Reifke (Loudon, N.H.) was untested in eight minutes and 31 seconds of relief duty.
Regis (Mass.) junior Jesse Bonilla (Ramona, Calif.) allowed six goals and made seven saves over 87 minutes of work while junior Andrew Barros (Malden, Mass.) did not face a shot in three minutes of mop-up work.
Saint Joseph’s held wide advantages in shots (28-4), shots on goal (13-1), and corner kicks (7-2) in the victory.
With the win, Saint Joseph’s improves to 2-0 in the series versus Regis (Mass.). The Monks blanked the Pride, 3-0, earlier this fall.