Saint Rose Fights off Rally, Stuns No. 8 Chestnut Hill

ALBANY The College of Saint Rose picked up a signature victory for a program in its inaugural season, as the Golden Knights fought off a furious rally to knock off Chestnut Hill College 11-10 tonight at Sullivan Field.

The Griffins (6-2), who entered the contest ranked #8 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division II Poll, thus had their five game win streak snapped. Meanwhile, Saint Rose has won four of its last five games after dropping its first two games of the year to a pair of top-six opponents.

Sophomore attackman Brett McAuliffe (Watertown, NY/Watertown) scored four goals to lead the Golden Knights (4-3). Meanwhile, senior midfielder Joe Pompo (Fairmount, NY/West Genesee) had three goals and freshman midfielder Kris Miller (Shoreham, NY/Shoreham-Wading River) added two goals and an assist.

Sophomore goalie Nick Longo (Wading River, NY/Shoreham-Wading River) turned aside 11 shots for Saint Rose. On the other end, graduate goalie Dakota Maurer (Lititz, PA/Warwick) stopped 13 shots on-target, including 10 in the first half.

Junior midfielder Mike Duddy (Toms River, NJ/Brookdale CC) pumped in four strikes for Chestnut Hill, which owned the fourth-highest scoring offense in the country (Division II) coming into tonight.

Sophomore attackman Mike Melnychenko (St. Catharines, Ontario/Denis Morris) fed senior attackman Kevin Festa (Auburn, NY/Cayuga County CC) midway through the first period to cut the Griffins' 2-0 deficit in half. However, the Golden Knights took off on a 6-0 run to give themselves a comfortable 8-1 cushion after McAuliffe finished off a pass from junior attackman Rich Bamberger (Brimfield, MA/St. John's) at the 7:14 mark.

It was at that point Chestnut Hill began to swing the momentum. Junior attackman Craig Owen (Glenolden, PA/Drexel) scored three in a row before Pompo answered with a tally that made it a 9-4 ballgame. Duddy responded with three straight goals of his own to get the Griffins to within a pair, 9-7, with 10:02 left in the contest.

The two clubs traded scores over the next six minutes until junior midfielder D.J. Klusaritz (Allentown, PA/Onondaga CC) and Duddy came up with back-to-back strikes to complete the comeback bid for Chestnut Hill. Klusaritz registered a man-up goal and then Owen set up Duddy to forge a 10-10 tie with 1:46 on the clock.

Pompo took things into his own hands and buried what proved to be the game-winner in the upper left corner with just more than a minute remaining. Freshman midfielder Ryan McFee (Greenwich, NY/Greenwich) won the ensuing face-off that allowed the Golden Knights to run out the clock.

Saint Rose held a slim 40-35 margin in shots and took an impressive 19 of 24 face-offs, including all eight in the fourth period. The Golden Knights also won the groundball battle 54-43.

Saint Rose returns to action one week from tonight when the Golden Knights host Mercy College in a 7:00 pm start from Sullivan Field. Meanwhile, Chestnut Hill returns home to entertain #9 Seton Hill University at 1:00 pm Saturday.

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Albany, NY (3/28/2012) Juniors, midfielder Mike Duddy (Toms River, NJ) and attack Craig Owen (Glenolden, PA) did all they could to bring #8 Chestnut Hill even with St. Rose, 10-10, with 1:46 remaining in regulation. However, the Golden Knights were not content with the prospect of overtime and with 1:04 to play senior midfielder Joe Pompo (Fairmount, NY) deposited the game-winner, 11-10.

The College of St. Rose (4-3) used the home field to their advantage, taking a 3-1 first-quarter lead, before repeating the feat in the second frame for an 8-2 halftime edge. Freshman Kris Miller (Shoreham, NY) and sophomore Brett McAuliffe (Watertown, NY) were on the attack for the Golden Knights; McAuliffe scoring three goals and Miller providing two goals and an assist. Chestnut Hill College (6-2) received first half goals from senior attack Kevin Festa (Auburn, NY), at 6:27 in the first quarter, 2-1, and Owen at 6:24 in the second quarter, 8-2.

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