AUBURN — The St. Dominic boy’s soccer team celebrated senior day Monday, as its 10 seniors played their final regular-season home game. And thanks to those seniors the Saints also celebrated a 3-2 win over Monmouth Academy in a key late-season Class C South tilt.

“It’s huge. It’s definitely, at this point, it’s all about seeding. But more importantly, it’s about just getting the momentum for the playoffs,” St. Dom’s (10-2-1) head coach Marty Bressler saif of the win. “I think that’s why the seniors, on senior night as well, it was really important for them to step up and show that we can beat (Monmouth).”

St. Dom’s senior Austin Roy scored a pair of first-half goals, as the Saints jumped out to a 2-0 halftime lead against a Mustangs (11-3) team that won the first meeting of the season, 4-1.

Roy opened the scoring just over 15 minutes in, as he received a lofted pass by classmate Ryan Lutrzykowski from just outside the box and headed it in from the left side.

“I just gave Ryan the nod, and he knew right where to put it, and just connected real well,” Roy said.

Roy’s second goal was done all by himself, as he stole a Mustang goal kick 20 yards out and chipped it back in over the head of Monmouth goalie Bradley Neal.

Bressler said jumping on top “meant everything” to his team, but Roy called the early lead somewhat of an outlier.

“We’re usually a second-half team,” Roy said. “We just knew this is our senior night. We got to come out hard.”

Monmouth came out of firing like a bottle rocket, with Gage Cote blasting a shot one minute in that was deflected over the crossbar by Saints senior goalie Alex Michaud. The Mustangs were awarded a corner kick, but couldn’t convert. Then, like a bottle rocket, Monmouth fizzled out the rest of the half.

“We didn’t play well in the first half, and I’ll give St. Dom’s credit — they came out and they were more aggressive than than we were,” said Monmouth head coach Joe Fletcher, who gave his team a “tongue lashing” at halftime.

The spirited speech during the intermission proved to be effective just under 13 minutes in, with the Mustangs showing they heard their coach’s message loud and clear. Avery Pomerleau fired a long pass from his own end over the heads of St. Dom’s back line and right to Cote, who broke away and beat Michaud with a shot just inside the box.

“Going into halftime, I thought we could win this game. And when he scored there, I thought our chances were pretty good,” Fletcher said of Cote’s goal.

St. Dom’s regained its two-goal lead 10 minutes later, however, as senior Jacob Charest looped a direct kick from the top-left corner of the box into the top-right corner of the goal.

The Mustangs kept at it despite seeing two players sent off with yellow cards in the final eight-plus minutes. A hand ball in the box against the Saints provided Monmouth with a penalty kick with 7:23 left and Hunter Richardson didn’t miss.

“It got a little scary when they got that PK,” Roy said. “We were kind of put back on our heels, but we battled through and got the result we wanted.”

Fletcher said his team ran out of time in trying to come back, as St. Dom’s was able to hold on for its biggest win of the season, according to both Roy and Bressler.

The Saints’ coach credited his senior leadership for his team’s current five-game win streak, which was preceded by the earlier loss to the Mustangs. The victory vaulted the Saints into third place in the Class C South standings, with a game at Winthrop still to go Tuesday. That would give St. Dom’s a playoff game at home, where it is unbeaten this season.

“I feel like we’re going in with great momentum,” Bressler said, “and we’re going to be really dangerous in the playoffs.”

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