Nov. 19, 2010

Courtesy of Saint Rose Athletics

The College of Saint Rose set the tone early and advanced to its third consecutive NCAA Tournament national quarterfinal date behind todays 1-0 third-round victory versus C.W. Post on the campus of West Chester University.

Saint Rose will now meet host West Chester (PA) at noon Sunday. The winner of that match will then play a national semifinal game on Thursday, December 2 in Louisville.

Freshman midfielder Sydney Bond continued her outstanding postseason by providing the lone goal early in the second half and thus recording a point for the fifth time in the last six contests.

The Golden Knights (23-0-0), who have been ranked #1 in the NSCAA/ NCAA Division II Poll throughout the final three-fourths of the season, dictated the pace throughout the majority of the match although several Saint Rose scoring opportunities slipped harmlessly away that afforded the 13th-ranked Pioneers (14-2-4) a chance for an upset until the final buzzer sounded.

The Golden Knights nonetheless outshot C.W. Post by a 21-5 margin, including a 10-1 differential in on-target threats, and manufactured six corner kicks, while yielding only one.

Bond made sure the effort paid dividends when she redirected a diagonal feed from junior midfielder Christina Cuffari at the 57:50 mark. Cuffari found some space on the right flank and lined a ball to the far post that Bond stretched for and touched into the top corner for what proved to be the games lone strike. In the process, Cuffari set a single-season school record with her 15th assist of the year.

Saint Rose nearly went up 1-0 with 35:33 gone by after the Golden Knights made a dangerous foray into the C.W. Post defense. The Pioneers attempted to clear the ball long, but senior midfielder Coco Ebersole stepped up to gather it in at her feet. She subsequently ripped a shot from 25-yards out that rattled the crossbar.

The aforementioned crossbar denied the Golden Knights again in the second stanza following an elongated assault into the Pioneers end. This time, junior midfielder Kimberly Morton drove a shot that ricocheted to the feet of freshman forward Carmelina Puopolo whose one-timer from deep in the area forced C.W. Post junior keeper Allie Weiser to come up with one of her nine, and perhaps best save of the afternoon.

At the other end, the Golden Knights defense was on its game as well. Senior keeper Deanna Esposito needed to come up only one save to extend her current scoreless streak to 933 minutes covering 12 games. The Golden Knights have also shut out 11 of their last 13 opponents to lower their nations best goals-against-average to 0.26 on the year.

Furthermore, Saint Rose is now the lone unbeaten or untied team left in NCAA II following Central Missouris 3-2 setback to St. Edwards in todays South Central Regional championship tilt.