Soccer edged by Saint Joseph (Conn.), 1-0, in GNAC Quarterfinals

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By Simmons College Athletics

The number-four-seeded Simmons College women’s soccer team’s season came to an end Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 loss to number five seed University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship Tournament Quarterfinals.

The Sharks fall to 9-10-0 to conclude their season.

The Blue Jays extend their unbeaten streak to six straight to improve to 10-7-1 and advance to the semifinals to take on top-seeded Lasell College, which defeated number eight-seed Rivier University, 7-1. The match is slated for Nov. 3 at 1:30 p.m. in Newton, Mass. on the campus of Lasell.

The contest was very similar to the teams’ first meeting of the season, where Simmons controlled the possession and dominated the shots, only to be edged by a lone goal off the foot of a Blue Jays’ first year. The Sharks owned a 19-5 shot advantage today, including 12-3 in the second stanza, but could not find the back of the net. Simmons also held a 6-1 margin on corner kicks.

First-year midfielder Sarah Palko carried the ball to the top of the box for Saint Joseph and unleashed a left-footed shot into the upper right corner out of the reach of the Sharks’ keeper with 25:07 left to play in the second half for a 1-0 lead. It was all the scoring the Blue Jays would need as the defense kept the final six shots from knotting the game for Simmons, including a shot off the post with less than four minutes to play from senior midfielder Ali Berkman.

The Sharks also had a pair of scoring opportunities nullified by offside calls in the first half. Simmons opened the second half by putting three shots on net in the first five minutes, including strikes from senior forward Greer Gilbert, Berkman and first-year forward Ciara Forde.

Senior keeper Melissa Dodge was outstanding for Saint Joseph, making nine saves, including a few that came off headers. She earned her 31st career shutout. Senior Briana Hayes closes out her collegiate career with two stops vs. the Blue Jays.