Oneonta State 3, Rochester 0

Nov. 19, 2005

Rochester tried. The visiting Yellowjackets held Oneonta State scoreless for as long as they could today, but in the end, the Red Dragons proved to be too powerful. Two goals in a span of six minutes for Oneonta (21-2-1) was just too many for the defensive-minded Yellowjackets (16-2-3) to overcome. The win for Oneonta advances them into the sectional final of the NCAA Div. III tournament tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in front of the home crowd.

"We played ready soccer today," said Oneonta coach Tracey Ranieri. "We wanted to play the game to enjoy the game. Our seniors stepped up and kept us focussed."

The deadlock ended in the 55th minute on a corner kick opportunity for Oneonta. Senior Sarah Tauber (Valley Stream, NY/Valley Stream) sent a ball in from the right corner flag that was headed out by a Rochester defender in an attempt to clear the ball. Unfortunately for Rochester senior Tricia Jaeger (Baldwin, NY/Baldwin) was waiting at the top of the box. Jaeger didn't allow the ball to settle before one-timing a shot that went over the keeper's hands into the back of the goal. The goal for Jaeger was her 20th of the season, which set a new single season record for the women's program.

"The corner before I came in on the ball and it was cleared over my head," said Jaeger of her positioning on the second corner. "We had such a tough time in the first half trying to generate an attack. We just continued to lay our game and eventually we capitalized.

It didn't take the Red Dragons long to put another goal on the board. In the 61st minute Oneonta sophomore Mary Velan (Stamford, NY/Stamford) beat a Rochester to a loose ball down along the left flank. Velan controlled the ball and made her way towards the goal before pulling up and floating a ball across to box. On the other side was freshman Christine Marra (Thiells, NY/N. Rockland) crashing the back post. Marra took the ball out of the air on her right foot and directed the ball into the back of the goal.

"I love playing with players like Marra and Jaeger," said Velan when asked if she doesn't mind sacrificing goals for assists. "The talent on this team makes it fun each time we play together."

The final goal for Oneonta was added in the 78th minute by freshman Laura Pierino (Clifton Park, NY/Shenendehowa). The goal was set up by Velan who broke free again on the left flank. She sent the ball into the box where Pierino was wide open in front of the goal. Pierino settled the ball and then beat the keeper.

"The seniors on this team kept this game in perspective for us," said Ranieri. "We thought we could exploit a couple of areas that we saw as weaknesses. A positive for us today was that when we substituted we didn't lose any edge on our attack. We were able to keep the pressure on them the whole game."

"Rochester is an outstanding team that is well coached. They played hard the entire game. We needed to be ready to play more than 90 minutes today."

"We had only been behind one time this year," said Rochester coach Terry Gurnett. "We tried to counter, but Oneonta stayed tough. We went for broke."

In the opening half of play the action was very deliberate on the Rochester side while Oneonta tried to gear up its straight forward attacking style. The most dangerous opportunity for either team came in the 10th minute of play on an Oneonta restart. Tauber sent a ball in from the right flank that sailed above the Rochester keeper as she came out to play the ball. The ball landed near the goal line where it was knocked out by a Rochester defender. Marra had a follow up shot that never reached the keeper.

The statistics of the first half were as even and as tight as the play was. Oneonta had a 3-2 advantage in shots while Rochester had a 3-1 advantage in corners.

"Oneonta is one of the best teams we've played all year long," said Gurnett. "We've played a number of ranked teams this season and Oneonta can play with any one of them. They have a team capable of winning it all."

Oneonta finds itself in the final eight for the third straight year. Last season Oneonta was defeated in the sectional final by Wheaton (MA) College, who won the game 3-0. Two years ago Oneonta went on to win the national championship, which was a 2-1 overtime classic against the University of Chicago.

Scoring Summary: OS, Tricia Jaeger (unassisted) 55:10 
OS, Christine Marra (Mary Velan) 60:21 
OS, Laura Pierino (Velan) 77:56 
Note: Goals are listed as time into match. 

SAVES: OS, Laura Morcone - 2; UR, Adrianne Hulchanski - 1; 
SHOTS: OS, 9; UR, 10; 
CORNERS: OS, 2; UR, 6; 

-- Courtesy Rochester