Nov. 4, 2010

Courtesy of Saint Rose Athletics

ALBANY - The College of Saint Rose scored twice in each half en route to a 4-0 victory against visiting American International College in a Northeast-10 Conference semifinal encounter this evening at Sullivan Field at the Christian Plumeri Sports Complex. The Golden Knights thus afforded themselves the opportunity to defend their league title for the fourth straight year. Saint Rose (20-0-0) has now shut out eight of its last 10 opponents and has allowed a mere six goals all season, one in the first half.

Four different players found the back of the net for the Golden Knights in another balanced effort. Freshman forwards Sydney Bond and Carmelina Puopolo each chalked up their 10th markers of the year. Meanwhile, junior forward Nicola D'Errico and junior midfielder Brittany Godin added their seventh and eighth strikes of the 2010 campaign.

Furthermore, junior midfielder Christina Cuffari chalked up three assists, while senior midfielder Amanda Deck and Puopolo each added a helper.

Saint Rose, ranked #1 for the eighth straight week according to the most recent NSCAA/HendrickCars.com NCAA Division II Poll, reached a pair of notable milestones following today's triumph. Deck moved into a tie for first place in school history with 28 career assists. Meanwhile, Cuffari became one of only two players (Ashley McGuire '07) in school annals to record 13 assists in a single-season.

The Golden Knights got things going 10 minutes into the contest when Cuffari drilled a shot that was turned aside by Yellow Jackets' keeper Kara Potts. However, D'Errico was there to bury the rebound into an open net for a 1-0 Saint Rose lead.

Things stayed that way for nearly 12 minutes when a similar play led to the Golden Knights' second tally. Puopolo ripped a hard, driving shot that was again deflected by Potts. This time, Bond was the beneficiary after closing in on the back stick and tapping the ball into a wide open goal.

Saint Rose added some insurance on a pair of well orchestrated strikes in the second stanza. Cuffari sent a ball towards the middle of the goalie box and Puopolo calmly collected the cross and virtually walked it into the net at the 66:19 mark. Just 5:22 later, Deck slotted a pass into the right channel and Cuffari sent a cross into the middle of the penalty area where Godin struck a one-timer that found the far post for the final margin.

Senior keeper Deanna Esposito continued to add to her school record win total by collecting her 20th victory of the year while making three stops for the Golden Knights. Esposito did a superlative job of intercepting various crossing attempts by American International throughout her 78:18 of action. Sophomore keeper Susan Cowan did not need to make a save after relieving Esposito in the 79th minute. Potts made four saves for the Yellow Jackets, which lost for the first time in five outings.

Saint Rose will host third-seed Franklin Pierce (14-4-1) at 1:00 pm Sunday in the championship game of the league tournament. The Golden Knights are unbeaten in six consecutive matches (5-0-1) against the Ravens. The two clubs have accounted for each of the last 10 postseason NE-10 titles.