Nov. 14, 2010

Courtesy of St. Rose Athletics

The College of Saint Rose scored in the 11th minute to ensure that its dominating performance was rewarded with a 1-0 victory in an NCAA Tournament second round match against the University of Bridgeport this afternoon at Sullivan Field within the Christian Plumeri Sports Complex.

In the process, the Golden Knights advanced to their fifth consecutive regional championship game (round of 16) where they will face C.W. Post on Friday, November 19 on the campus of West Chester University (PA). The Pioneers advanced with todays 2-0 triumph against visiting American International on Long Island.

The Golden Knights (22-0-0), who have been ranked #1 in the NSCAA/ NCAA Division II Poll for the last three-fourths of the season, outshot the Purple Knights (14-4-2) by a 26-4 margin and generated six corner kicks without yielding any. Saint Rose furthermore engineered a 10-2 advantage with on-target threats.

Junior midfielder Brittany Godin provided the games lone strike with 10:12 elapsed. Fellow junior midfielder Christina Cuffari set up in the middle of the field and slipped a pass to freshman midfielder Sydney Bond at the center of the penalty area. Bond immediately redirected the ball to Godin who flicked it into the goal for her ninth marker of the year.

Senior keeper Deanna Esposito did an outstanding job of managing her defensive unit of senior backs Katie Whiting, Kelly Guerin and Coco Ebersole; along with sophomore Meagan McKinney, throughout the match.

The quintet was efficient in several facets, but stood out by preventing Bridgeport All-Conference forward Linda Velaj from finding any open space. Velaj, who scored all three goals in Fridays 3-1 first-round win versus Franklin Pierce, entered the week seventh among the nations top point producers with 2.56 per-game.

At the other end, Bridgeport junior keeper Julia Colley recorded nine saves to keep Bridgeports hopes of an upset alive throughout the contest. She first denied Saint Rose senior midfielder Amanda Deck at the 37:33 mark. Deck lined a shot from 15-yards out that Colley dove to her right to gather in. Early in the second half, Cuffari forced her to make a key save to her right once again.

Esposito proved to be on her game as well. She got in the air with traffic in front of her to snare a volley off a set piece that was delivered by junior midfielder Katie Stanley in the 66th minute. She also came up with a save on Velajs lone shot-on-goal in the 19th minute.

The Golden Knights have now shut out each of their four opponents throughout their current postseason run. They have also held 10 of their last 12 foes scoreless, including six straight, and in the process have lowered their team goals-against-average to a collective 0.27 on the year. Saint Rose has furthermore allowed a mere six strikes on the season, one in the first half, and is now 12-7-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament contests.