Nov. 13, 2010

Courtesy of Scranton Athletics

Senior midfielder Chelsea Paskman (Chalfont, Pa./Central Bucks South) scored a goal less than four minutes into the first half and the defense did the rest as The University of Scranton defeated Plattsburgh State University, 1-0, in an NCAA first-round match Saturday afternoon at Cozzens Field on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

The Royals, making their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2006 and 12th in the programs 28-year history, will take on 9th-ranked William Smith tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. William Smith advanced with a 3-0 victory over backyard neighbor Keuka College in the first match of the doubleheader Saturday morning. Scranton, which won its seventh straight match to improve to 16-4-1, advances to the second round of the NCAA field for the first time since 2003.

Paskmans goal, her seventh of the season and her third match-winning goal of the year, was set up by first-year forward Samantha Russo (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown), who recorded her team-leading ninth assist of the season. The Royals also avenged a 1-0 loss in double overtime to Plattsburgh St. in the championship match of the Skidmore Invitational earlier this year on September 4.

After an evenly played first half, Plattsburgh came out firing in the second half. The Cardinals out-shot the Royals, 15-9, including a 9-5 advantage in the final 45 minutes of play, but Royal senior goalkeeper Caitlin Byrne (East Rutherford, N.J./IHA) was up to the task. She made four of her match-high six saves in the second half to record her 12th shutout of the season and the 25th of her career. Alina Greiser finished with two saves for Plattsburgh, which ends its 2010 season with a 15-4-1 record.

Overall, the Royal defense picked up its 14 shutout of the year, which is the fourth highest single-season total in Scranton history. The Royals have allowed only two goals in their last 11 matches.

Scranton is 0-5 in the all-time series with William Smith College, including a 5-0 loss in the 1992 NCAA tournament. In addition, the Royalss 16 wins to date are the most for the program since the late Joe Bochicchio led Scranton to a school-record 22-1-1 record in 2003.

Paskman, the two-time Landmark Conference Offensive Player of the Year (2009, 2010) and 2009 second-team all-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), scored the 17th goal of her career today. It was also the eighth match-winning goal of her career. Byrnes 25 career shutouts are the second most in Royalss history.