BECKLEY, W.Va. – The College of Saint Rose dictated the pace throughout the morning to capture its eighth NCAA Championship East Region title behind today’s 3-0 victory versus Mercy College at the Paul Cline Sports Complex.
The Golden Knights (16-1-4) will now face host Concord (20-0-3) Saturday at 1:00 pm in a national quarterfinal. The 12th ranked and unbeaten Mountain Lions (20-0-3) advanced with Thursday’s 1-0 win versus West Chester.
“We did a great job of executing our game plan. We put a lot of pressure on them, especially during the first half and created some excellent chances off of restarts. We converted off a set piece and that really set the momentum for us,” said head coach Laurie Darling Gutheil.
The Golden Knights generated a 13-2 shot advantage throughout the opening 45 minutes and never looked back. Overall, Saint Rose developed a 16-7 shot advantage, including a 9-4 differential in threats on target.
Senior back Ciera Lundy made the effort pay off by delivering the game-winner. Lundy drove home a rebound off a strike from freshman back Ryleigh Hopeck to make it 1-0 with 34:46 elapsed. Six minutes later, junior forward Kaelyn Britt finished a feed from sophomore midfielder Lauren Amerena to double the advantage at intermission.
Freshman forward Mia Klammer closed out the scoring by heading home a ball from about 20-yards out that sailed over the Mercy’s (12-5-4) keeper’s head with 77:00 gone by.
Fifth year keeper Marika Laurendeau recorded four saves on the way to her 11th clean sheet this season. Fellow fifth year Melissa Torres registered five stops for the Mavericks.
Saint Rose nearly struck a few previous times midway through the first period as the ball escaped the goal line despite a flurry off a corner with 27:00 gone by. Klammer then had a dangerous attempt a minute later that went just over the crossbar.
Going Forward: Saturday’s winner will advance to the national semifinals at Switchbacks FC Stadium in Colorado Springs, CO. on Thursday, December 9. The national championship match is set for Saturday, December 11.
Golden Knights in the NCAA Tournament: This year marks the 16th time in 19 years (excluding 2020) that the Golden Knights have been afforded the opportunity to contend for the NCAA Division II National Championship…Saint Rose is now 29-12-6 all-time in NCAA Tournament contests…The Golden Knights will be making their eighth national semifinal appearances (6-0-1) on Saturday…They have made seven previous national semifinal appearance (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2019) within the past 14 years…Saint Rose of course captured the 2011 National Championship.
Notes: Saint Rose, ranked #8 in the most recent United Soccer Coaches National Poll, has outscored its 21 opponents 52-8 and has surrendered four goals in each half all year…The Golden Knights entered today third in the country with a 0.35 team goals-against-average and were 25th in scoring offense behind 2.45 goals per game.…Saint Rose has given up just two goals in its last nine contests…The Golden Knights own the nation’s 12th best winning percentage (.850)…Seventeen different players have at least one goal…Laurendeau, an All-American in 2019, is among the country’s top-10 with a 0.38 goals-against-average and an .887 save percentage…Her 11 clean sheets this year also put her among the nation’s top-10 leaders…Klammer came into today 22nd nationally with a 0.75 goal scoring average and a 1.75 points scoring average…Junior midfielder Janina Mueller was 36th behind a 0.40 assists average.