Albany, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The College of Saint Rose punched a ticket to its 12th NCAA Regional Finals appearance by prevailing 4-2 on penalty kicks against Jefferson University in an NCAA East Region semifinal this afternoon at Sullivan Field at the Plumeri Sports Complex. The contest will officially be recorded a 1-1 draw.
The Golden Knights (15-1-4) will now play Mercy College in the East Region Final (round of 16) on Thursday or Friday, December 2 or 3 in Athens, West Virginia on the Concord University campus.
Saint Rose, the top seed in the East Region, broke through in the opening three minutes of the second half to go up 1-0, which is how it appeared destined to end. However, the fifth seed Rams (12-5-3) leveled it with four minutes to play to bring about a pair of 10-minute overtime sessions and the ensuing penalty kick period.
The Rams forced overtime when junior forward Laural Erick took advantage of a miscalculated Saint Rose clearing attempt to run onto a loose ball down the right side and fire a shot into the far left side for the equalizer.
Saint Rose nearly ended it a few times from that juncture.
Junior midfielder Kaelyn Britt drove a shot that sailed just over the crossbar with 20 seconds remaining in regulation. The Golden Knights kept up the pressure by manufacturing five shots throughout the initial six minutes of the first overtime period including a pair by sophomore Tatiana Leggiero, one that was blocked and another that went just right.
Earlier, Jefferson had a dangerous opportunity to strike with 21 minutes left in regulation when junior midfielder Devin Sullivan sent a diagonal pass to the right side of the box to freshman back Abby Cargile who had daylight ahead of her. However, fifth-year keeper Marika Laurendeau pounced off her line to gather the ball at Cargile’s feet before she had a chance to get a shot off.
Overall, Saint Rose manufactured a 15-9 shot advantage, including an 11-2 differential after halftime. Laurendeau finished with three saves, while freshman Liv Riddel came up with a pair for the Rams.
Going Forward: The winner of the Saint Rose-Mercy East Region Final will face the Atlantic Region champion, either host Concord or West Chester, in a national quarterfinal match on Saturday or Sunday, December 4 or 5. The 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.
Notes: Saint Rose, ranked #8 in the most recent United Soccer Coaches National Poll, has outscored its 20 opponents 49-8…Jefferson’s game-tying goal was only the fourth, second half strike surrendered by Saint Rose all year…The Golden Knights entered today third in the country with a 0.35 team goals-against-average and 25th in scoring offense behind 2.53 goals per game.…They were 16th in the country with 6.32 corner kicks per game…Seventeen different players have at least one goal…Saint Rose has given up just two goals in its last eight contests…Laurendeau, an All-American in 2019, came into this afternoon with a Northeast-10 Conference best 0.37 goals-against-average on the strength of 10 shutouts and was sixth nationally with an .889 save percentage…Her 10 clean sheets this year had her 10th among the country’s leaders…Klammer paces the NE10 with 12 goals and 27 points, despite only playing 16 games…She was 20th in the country with 0.80 goals per game, while Mueller stood 31st behind a 0.42 assists average.
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 28-12-6 all-time in NCAA Tournament contests…The Golden Knights have made seven national semifinal appearances (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2019) within the past 14 years, and of course captured the 2011 National Championship.