#21 Saint Rose Eliminates #10 Franklin Pierce, 4-0

Third-seeded Golden Knights advance with two goals in each half over second-seeded Ravens; Face Bridgeport in regional final.

Nov. 16, 2008

Courtesy Franklin Pierce Athletics

RINDGE, N.H. - Third-seeded The College of Saint Rose, ranked 21st in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas Division II poll, rolled to a 4-0 victory over second-seeded and No. 10-ranked Franklin Pierce in East Regional semifinal action of the 2008 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championships at Sodexo Field this afternoon.

Saint Rose (18-3-2) advances to the East Regional championship for the fourth time in six NCAA Tournament appearances and will face fourth-seeded University of Bridgeport (18-4-1) next weekend. That match will be played at the site of the Atlantic Regional championship (date and time TBA). Bridgeport advanced with a 1-0 victory over top-seeded and host LIU-C.W. Post in today's other East Region semifinal.

Franklin Pierce (15-4-2) suffers its first ever loss in regional play since the NCAA II women's tournament went to the format in 1996 and sees its streak of 12-straight regional championships come to an end. The 4-0 setback is the Ravens worst in the NCAA Tournament since an identical score line in the semifinal round of the 1998 Final Four at eventual National Champion Lynn University. It marks the first year Franklin Pierce has failed to win an NCAA Tournament match since 1993 - that year the Ravens fell to Cal Poly in the Final Four.

Sophomore Amanda Schweers (Greeley, Colo./Greeley West) led Saint Rose with a goal and assist this afternoon, while classmate Jazmine Farrell (Raritan, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) dished two assists. The Golden Knights also got goals from senior Kailey Egbert (Camp Hill, Pa./Trinity) and freshmen Christina Cuffari (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial) and Gianna D'Errico (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury).

Junior goalkeeper Shannon Murphy (Charlton, Mass./St. Peter Marian) made three saves (two first half) to preserve her eighth shutout of the season (team's 14th). Senior Brittany Ester (Toms River, N.J./Toms River East) finished with four stops for Franklin Pierce. Saint Rose finished with an 11-8 advantage in shots for the match.

Saint Rose took control with two goals in the opening 9:49 of the contest. Cuffari put the Golden Knights ahead on the first shot of the match by either side just 2:27 in, when she dribbled down the middle of the pitch and launched a drive from 22-yards out that beat Ester to the upper right corner of the net for her seventh goal of the season. The Golden Knights doubled their advantage just over seven minutes later as D'Errico headed a cross from the right side by Schweers into the upper left corner in the tenth minute. The goal was D'Errico's sixth of the year.

Saint Rose iced things with two more markers within a four-minute span towards the end of the match. Schweers netted her first goal of the season in the 74th minute, when she took a pass from Farrell on the right side and lofted a high shot from 15 yards out into the left side of the net. The Golden Knights rounded out the scoring in the 79th when Egbert knocked in a loose ball at the far post off a pass from Farrell for her seventh goal of the season.

The loss ends a 19-match unbeaten streak (18-0-1) for Franklin Pierce in NCAA Tournament play against regional opposition. The only previous blemish was a 1-1 double-overtime draw to the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2006 in which the Ravens advanced 4-3 on penalty kicks.

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