MEDFORD, Mass. — For the second year in a row, the St. Joseph’s College men’s soccer team was eliminated in the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament Sunday, but not before the Monks pushed defending national champion Tufts to the limit.

After 110 minutes of scoreless soccer – no surprise for a St. Joseph’s team that allowed only one goal all season – the Monks lost 4-2 in penalty kicks to third-ranked Tufts.

“My guys are warriors,” Monks Coach Adrian Dubois said. “They’re disciplined. They never quit. They’re resilient.

“Only one team has been able to score on us. The defending national champions couldn’t even score on us.”

Arguably a major reason why the game went to penalty kicks was the play of Monks keeper Blake Mullen, who made 11 saves – most of which were testers.

In the first half alone, Mullen made three difficult saves. In the second half, Gavin Tasker of Tufts took a shot from inside the box, but Mullen leaped and punched the ball away.

“We know he’s a really good goalie and can make saves,” Monks midfielder Rory Twomey said. “When he gets the opportunity to make a save, it lifts us as a team. That makes us go harder.

“He’s one of the best goalies in the country. We know he’s going to make saves, so we just have to keep doing our thing, defending and attacking. We know he has our back.”

Zach Lane and Connor Coleman scored in the first two rounds of the shootout for Tufts (16-1-2), before Noah Robinson of St. Joseph’s beat Tufts keeper Conner Mieth.

Travis van Brewer gave Tufts a 3-1 lead, but Mitchell Cyr countered in the fourth round. Dexter Eichhorst notched the clincher in the fifth round.

The Monks (19-1-1) had trouble generating offense, which was reflected in the final stats, as the Jumbos compiled a 24-4 advantage in shots.

“We knew it was going to be hard to get opportunities,” midfielder Jojo Strobino said. “But we stuck to our game plan. We knew what we had to do and took our chances when we got them.”

St. Joseph’s had a superb chance early in the first overtime when Mieth leaped high and punched a shot by Quinn Hewitt over the crossbar.

Meanwhile, Mullen and the Monks’ defense held firm at the other end.

“We were tough,” Dubois said. “We were a fortress. The other team could not break us down.”

The Monks were playing their second game in 24 hours, following a 2-1 victory Saturday over Mitchell College, whereas Tufts drew a first-round bye.

“We were away from home and played a full 90-minute game yesterday,” Dubois said. “We were fatigued. Our guys were tested to the max and they withheld. Going forward, I hope people start taking us seriously.

“We are a strong program with top players and we can contend in New England.”