ALBANY, N.Y. — No. 10 Saint Rose struck three times in the opening six minutes of the second half en route to a 5-0 victory against 22nd-ranked Merrimack on Sunday in a NCAA tournament second-round battle at Sullivan Field at the Plumeri Sports Complex.
The Golden Knights (20-1-1) now move on to the third round to face Massachusetts-Lowell (11-5-4) on Friday, Nov. 18 to determine the East Regional champion.
In Sunday’s match with the Warriors (16-3-2), the Golden Knights displayed the nation’s top scoring offense by taking advantage of severe wind gusts at their back that allowed them to outshoot Merrimack by a 15-4 margin throughout the final 45 minutes.
Sophomore forward Carmelina Puopolo scored twice including what held up as the game-winner with 54:03 elapsed and then added her Northeast-10 Conference leading 15th strike of the year with 73:07 gone by. Puopolo went topside left on the first goal after intercepting a clearing attempt and then finished a feed from senior midfielder Brittany Godin to cap the scoring.
Puopolo had earlier assisted on a goal by Godin when she slipped a quick touch in the area that Godin pounded into the back of the net to make it a 3-0 affair with 60:00 erased off the clock. Four minutes earlier, sophomore midfielder Sydney Bond touched in a deflection off a Merrimack defender for the game’s second goal. Freshman forward Brittany Barry pretty much removed all doubt with her 13th goal of the year that made the score 4-0 Saint Rose at the 68:09 mark.
Saint Rose sophomore keeper Jessica Gerski made five saves throughout the game’s initial 73 minutes to chalk up her 19th victory this autumn. Freshman Lauren Minkoff came up with one save during the last 17 minutes. For Merrimack, senior keeper Kiley Horne made six saves of her own in a losing effort.