Nov. 15, 2009

Courtesy Saint Rose Athletics

LOUDONVILLE, NY – The College of Saint Rose punched a ticket to its third consecutive East Regional Championship game, fifth overall, with a 2-1 victory against Merrimack in an NCAA Tournament second-round encounter this afternoon on the campus of Siena College.

The Golden Knights (22-0-0), ranked #2 for each of the past six weeks according to the NSCAA/Adidas Division II poll, remained undefeated by scoring midway through each period. However, the Warriors (13-6-4) made it interesting by finding the back of the net less than two minutes after the Golden Knights apparently put themselves in control with their second marker.

“We really do not have the mentality of trying to stay undefeated at this point,” said Saint Rose head coach Laurie Darling Gutheil. “Everybody is undefeated at this point. If you lose, you go home and that includes us. We’re really just trying to take things one step at a time.”

The next step will be a rematch with visiting Franklin Pierce on Friday after the Ravens advanced with a 4-1 victory against host Bridgeport in the region’s other second round encounter today. The Golden Knights upended the Ravens 2-1 in last Sunday’s Northeast-10 Conference championship match.

Saint Rose took care of business this afternoon by outshooting Merrimack by a 10-3 margin, including a 7-2 edge with threats on target. Junior midfielder Amanda Deck made sure those numbers yielded a positive result when she put Saint Rose up 1-0 at the 28:59 mark.

Deck ran on a through ball from sophomore midfielder Kimberly Morton. She then dribbled twice towards the box and triggered a line drive from 20-yards out that whistled into the right side of the net.

Deck and Morton later reversed roles off a set piece with 76:19 elapsed. Deck lofted a ball from 40-yards out that Morton headed home out of the air to make it a 2-0 affair.

The euphoria was short lived though as Merrimack senior forward Gabrielle Gramprey gained enough space on the left sideline to deliver a cross that skipped on the wet field turf and onto the foot of junior midfielder Kerri Domohowski who one-timed it home for her fourth tally of the year.

Saint Rose senior keeper Shannon Murphy was called upon to make only one save throughout the match, but she was at her best controlling the area when Merrimack pushed 11 players forward in the last 10 minutes in an effort to generate the equalizer. In the other net, senior Brittany Gustafson turned aside five on-goal threats, including three in the first half when the Golden Knights owned momentum after scoring their first goal.