Schibly
FPU

RINDGE, N.H. – No. 2  Franklin Pierce clinched a trip to the national semifinals via its 1-0 triumph against Southern New Hampshire in the quarterfinals at Sodexo Field in Rindge on Saturday.

The Ravens improved to 21-0-1, while the Penmen concluded their season with an 18-4 mark.

The Ravens punched their ticket to the fourth national semifinal in program history. This year’s edition of the Ravens joins the 1991, 2005 and 2007 teams as the four squads in team history to make its way to the national semifinals. The 2005 and 2007 teams reached the finals, with the ’07 squad downing Lincoln Memorial, 1-0, to clinch the first NCAA championship in program history.

The 2011 NCAA Division II national semifinals will be held on Dec. 1-3 in Pensacola, Fla. Franklin Pierce will face Lynn in the semis on Thursday, Dec. 1.

Both teams played spirited defense throughout the entire match as neither side mustered double-digit shots.

After a scoreless first half, Franklin Pierce struck early in the second half with the only goal it needed when senior midfielder Paul Latif dribbled down into the left side of the box and sent a shot towards the net. Junior Nicholas Schibly sprinted toward the goal and got his foot on the ball to chip it over the outstretched arms of SNHU goalkeeper Jon Mayo and into the upper right corner of the goal. It was Schibly’s second goal of the season, as it came in the 49th minute.

Latif earned an assist on the play to earn a point, which came one match after he logged an amazing six-point affair in Franklin Pierce’s 5-0 victory St. Thomas Aquinas last Saturday in the second round.

Southern New Hampshire tried to pick up the intensity offensively in the closing minutes and was able to put a pair of shots on goal, but FPU senior keeper Vinny Papageorgiou stopped both tries to record his fifth consecutive shutout and run his record to 21-0-1 on the season. In fact, Franklin Pierce has not allowed a goal in any postseason match this season.