STANDISH — Even the St. Joseph’s College men’s soccer coaches are somewhat baffled.

“I knew we were going to be one of the top teams in our conference,” head coach Adrian Dubois said, “but I didn’t expect to go undefeated, and I definitely didn’t expect to not give up any goals.”

The program has been on the rise since Dubois took over three years ago. Coming off their first win in an NCAA Division III tournament game in 2016, the Monks have rolled to a 14-0-1 record.

And most eye-opening, not one opponent has scored. None.

St. Joseph’s is the only NCAA program – men’s or women’s in any division – that hasn’t allowed a goal this season.

Assistant coach Michael Sanfilippo, who was a four-year starter for the team before graduating in 2012, said alumni are surprised how far the program has come since 2014, when Debois made his coaching debut and the team finished 5-15.

“I kept telling everyone that we would be good. I just didn’t know we were going to be this good,” Sanfilippo said. “I don’t want to say I’m surprised but yeah, I’m surprised.”

The Monks kept their winning streak alive Wednesday night, edging the University of Southern Maine 1-0 for their 10th straight victory. Blake Mullen turned away two shots for his 14th shutout.

St. Joseph’s is 23rd nationally in the DIII poll and eighth in the United Soccer Coaches weekly poll.

“I think a lot of it is luck, but obviously there’s a saying that you make your own luck,” Dubois said. “Our guys train hard, we’re very organized and we’re tough to break down.”

In 2015 the Monks improved to 11-7-1 after Dubois brought in a large recruiting class, including Mullen. He saw potential in the 6-foot-7 keeper from Manchester, Connecticut, the first time he watched him play.

“I saw this massive goalkeeper who was lanky but definitely raw and didn’t yet have the good technical goalkeeping aspects,” Dubois said. “So we got him up on campus and turned him into a fantastic goalkeeper.”

Last season, Mullen was Great Northeast Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Year. He led the conference in wins (15), shutouts (14), goals-against average (0.35) and save percentage (.877).

“He’s a beast,” said forward Brett Mattos of Mahopac, New York, the team’s leading scorer with 16 goals and eight assists. “No one likes losing here and we just want to take it as far as we can.”

After winning the GNAC tournament last season on penalty kicks in the final, the Monks defeated Babson on penalty kicks in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

“We were the underdog, the team that wasn’t supposed to win,” Dubois said. “We brought it into overtime, held strong, and then – in PKs – we had a monster goalkeeper who makes incredible saves.”

The victory was especially meaningful to Sanfilippo, who, as a player, made it to the NCAA tournament twice and lost both times.

“We were going nuts. I think I was maybe one of the first ones out there,” Sanfilippo said of the win. “We’re just a small team from Maine, nobody has really noticed us before. Now we’ve turned heads and kind of put ourselves on the map.”

A young team last season, the Monks returned all of their talent.

They have outscored opponents 53-0 – already passing the school record of 48 goals set in 2015 – and have secured the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament.

In addition to Mullen, Dubois also credits the Monks’ “great defensive character” with keeping opponents scoreless.

“All of the guys are expected to get back every single time on defense,” he said. “When you defend with 11 versus six, you’ve got better odds.”

On Wednesday, it wasn’t uncommon to see Mattos in the backfield, competing with an opposing forward for the ball before quickly shifting back into offensive mode.

He assisted on the Monks’ goal with a cross that Mitchell Duncan of Sanford headed into the back of USM’s net with 30:09 remaining.

Anchoring the backfield for St. Joseph’s is Dalton Gaumer of Riverside, California, who Dubois said “can read the attacker’s mind before they even make their decision.”

“We were pretty strong last season but this year, we really worked on team defense and working together as a unit,” Gaumer said.

Along with Sean Baker of Medfield, Massachusetts, the Monks’ other top defender is Jackson Taylor, a sophomore from Gorham.

“Jackson Taylor stepped up this year and has been outstanding, probably one of the best defenders in the league,” Dubois said.

“Then you throw Blake (Mullen) into the mix, and it’s almost unfair.”

St. Joseph’s kept Mullen from having to face a shot on goal until last 17 minutes against USM. Against Maine Maritime Academy in his previous game, Mullen didn’t even have to make a save.

Mullen said the team’s goal is to win the GNAC tournament and advance further in the NCAA tournament.

“It’s tough to get by them,” Mullen said of his defense. “By the time they do, I’ll be ready for anything.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or

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