ALBANY – Taylor Gray, by her own admission, usually has a bundle of nerves when entering a game.
It should have been complicated at the Plumeri Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon when St Rose’s backup goalkeeper College was pressed into action with three minutes remaining in the first half of the Northeast-10 Women’s Soccer Tournament quarter-final against Adelphi when starter Marica Laurendo was forced Was done to exit after landing on his tailbone after a collision in front of the target.
As it turned out, Gray’s nerves were fine.
“The nerves were a little extreme, but I’m very proud of myself for handling it,” Gray said. “I honestly didn’t expect myself to do so well, because I get so nervous.”
Gray made a pair save in the second half and kept things in order to protect the Golden Knights, while despite dealing with considerable pressure from Adelphi, spent the entire second half looking at the sun, scoring an 11th-minute goal from Lauren Amerena. helped to stand as St. Rose. The conference won 1–0 to advance to the semi-finals of the tournament.
St Rose (number 2 seed, 13-1-3 overall) will host sixth seed St Anselm in the semi-finals on Thursday. St. Anselm defeated No. 3 seed Bentley in Sunday’s quarterfinals, part of a troubled day’s action, in which No. 1 seed Southern New Hampshire beat No. 8 Southern Connecticut.
The defeat of southern New Hampshire meant that St. Rose, ranked eighth nationally, would host the final of the tournament if they beat St. Anselm.
St Rose’s winning margin ended early on Sunday, with Janina Muller playing in a cross that Amerina Adelphi (No. 7 seed, 7-6-3) was able to touch goalkeeper Sarah Hoffmeier.
“It was fantastic,” said St Rose coach Laurie Darling Guthill. “It certainly allowed us to over-look our defensive shape and not get caught in the transition. We sometimes didn’t have to move that far, so we didn’t give them the look.”
The Golden Knights advanced less than 24 hours after celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their greatest achievement, the 2011 NCAA Division II national championship.
“We have many of our former players back. It was just an incredible evening,” said Darling Guthill. “A lot of them came today. Really, really special to everyone involved.”
Halftime Score: St Rose takes a 1-0 lead. Adelphi Scoring: None. St. Rose Scoring: Amarena 1-0, Mueller 0-1. Goalkeepers: Adelphi, Hoffmeier, 3 saves. St. Rose, Grey, saves 2, Laurendo, saves 2.
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