ALBANY – Saint Rose picked up a signature victory for a program in its inaugural season as the Golden Knights fought off a furious rally to knock off Chestnut Hill 11-10 on Wednesday.
The Griffins (6-2), who entered the contest ranked No. 8 in the nation, had their five-game win streak snapped. Meanwhile, Saint Rose has won four of its last five games after dropping its first two games of the year to a pair of top-six opponents.
Sophomore attackman Brett McAuliffe scored four goals to lead the Golden Knights (4-3). Meanwhile, senior midfielder Joe Pompo had three goals and freshman midfielder Kris Miller added two goals and an assist.
Sophomore goalie Nick Longo turned aside 11 shots for Saint Rose. On the other end, graduate goalie Dakota Maurer stopped 13 shots on-target, including 10 in the first half.
Junior midfielder Mike Duddy pumped in four strikes for Chestnut Hill, which owned the fourth-highest scoring offense in the country coming into Wednesday.
Sophomore attackman Mike Melnychenko fed senior attackman Kevin Festa midway through the first period to cut the Griffins’ 2-0 deficit in half. The Golden Knights took off on a 6-0 run to give themselves a comfortable 8-1 cushion after McAuliffe finished off a pass from junior attackman Rich Bamberger at the 7:14 mark.
It was at that point Chestnut Hill began to swing the momentum. Junior attackman Craig Owen scored three in a row before Pompo answered with a tally that made it a 9-4 ballgame. Duddy responded with three consecutive goals of his own to get the Griffins to within a pair at 9-7, with 10:02 left in the contest.
The two clubs traded scores over the next six minutes until junior midfielder D.J. Klusaritz and Duddy came up with back-to-back strikes to complete the comeback bid for Chestnut Hill. Klusaritz registered a man-up goal and then Owen set up Duddy to forge a 10-10 tie with 1:46 on the clock.
Pompo took things into his own hands and buried what proved to be the game-winner in the upper left corner with just more than a minute remaining. Freshman midfielder Ryan McFee won the ensuing face-off that allowed the Golden Knights to run out the clock.
Saint Rose held a slim 40-35 margin in shots and took an impressive 19-of-24 face-offs, including all eight in the fourth period. The Golden Knights also won the groundball battle 54-43.