ALBANY, N.Y. -- Battling a frigid wind and the Atlantic Region champions, American International put together a strong defensive performance to punch a ticket to the semifinals in Evans, Ga. with a 1-0 victory against Slippery Rock on Sunday.
The only goal of the match came at 39:12 in the first half, when senior forward Caroline Boyce fired a cross from the right side that found its way into the box; in the scramble, junior forward Sonia Basma jammed the ball home for her nineteenth tally of the season.
The key, however, was AIC's smothering defense. The back four -- seniors Bailey Robinson, Alie Fitzsimmons, Hilary Baker and sophomore Romina Bell -- held Slippery Rock to just two shot attempts and one corner kick, and did not permit a shot on target for the entire game.
Senior goalkeeper Dana O'Neill was brilliant for Slippery Rock, making nine saves, many of them from very close range, keeping her squad in the game until the very end. Junior Samantha Tabak did not have to make any saves in picking up her school record-extending 16th shutout of the year and improving to 16-2-2 on the campaign.
AIC will next take on Grand Valley State in the national semifinals on Dec. 5.