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Saint Rose women's soccer falls short in national semis

Saint Rose women's soccer falls short in national semis

Grand Valley State builds 2-0 halftime lead and holds on for 3-2 win
Saint Rose women's soccer falls short in national semis
Morgan Burchhardt, left, celebrates a Saint Rose goal with Nina Predanic against Grand Valley State on Thursday.
Photographer: Jason W. Kapusta Photo

PITTSBURGH -- The College of Saint Rose women's soccer team played catch-up all day, and came up just short in the NCAA Division II national semifinals on Thursday.

Trailing 2-0 at halftime, the Golden Knights lost 3-2 to Grand Valley State at Highmark Stadium, ending their season at 21-3-1 with their first national semifinal appearance since 2014.

Kaelyn Britt scored in the 56th minute on an assist by Nina Predanic to bring Saint Rose within 2-1, but Grand Valley State (24-1-0) answered quickly.

Division II national player of the year Riko Sagara headed in a cross from Caitie Baron less than five minutes after Britt's goal for a 3-1 Grand Valley State lead.

That's how it stood until Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake graduate Morgan Burchhardt scored with 15 minutes left in regulation.

"I knew my career was coming to and end, so I needed to push forward and get that pressure up,” Buchhardt said. “That’s what I was looking to do. The ball fell the right way, and I was able to capitalize on it and give us a little bit more of a lifeline.”

The Golden Knights, who were outshot 26-1 in the first half and 32-5 for the game, couldn't get the equalizer.

Lakers goalie Jessica Radice made a save on Saint Rose's Caitlyn Dabagian in the 80th minute, just her second save of the game.

Golden Knights goalie Marika Laurendeau made 12 saves.

“I thought that the girls played an exemplary second half,” Saint Rose head coach Laurie Darling Gutheil said. “They just played with grit and determination and a collective will for us to advance. I thought in spite of not getting things to fall our way, we continued to persevere, and that’s been our mentality all year.

“I’m incredibly proud of my team. I’m incredibly proud of the leadership of our senior class.”

Ava Cook opened the scoring with her national-best 29th goal -- her ninth of the postseason -- in the 22nd minute, cutting back to her left at the top of the penalty box and ripping a left-footed shot past Laurendeau inside the right post.

With less than two minutes left in the first half, Chantel Carranza made it 2-0 with an easy rebound off a short shot in front by Gianna Parlove.

Grand Valley State will play Western Washington, a 2-0 winner over Flagler in the other semifinal, at noon on Saturday for the national championship.

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