Grassia’s overtime goal in NCAA quarters sends Saint Rose to Final Four

BECKLEY, W.Va. – The College of Saint Rose twice fought back from one-goal deficits after halftime to upend host Concord University 3-2 in overtime in today’s NCAA National Championship Quarterfinal encounter. The Golden Knights will now move onto a national semifinal game in Colorado Springs next Thursday against a yet to be determined opponent.

“It was just a fantastic performance against a very difficult opponent. We persevered and believed in what we were here to do and we responded every time with a comeback goal. I think that the leadership of our seniors and personality players always stayed positive,” said head coach Laurie Darling Gutheil. “They always pushed with the mentality that we were going to do this and we were not going to be concerned with the score. We were going to continue to play, and were going to come out of this game with the outcome that we wanted. Their faith to persevere is what really sets them apart, and the underclassmen fed off of that.”

That perseverance paid off as freshman forward Lexi Grassia drove home a perfect header to the left side of the net off a lined pass from freshman forward Mia Klammer for the game-winner 2:37 into the overtime period to propel the eighth-ranked Golden Knights (17-1-4) to their eighth national semifinal appearance.

The game was close throughout with Saint Rose generating a 16-13 shot advantage, 10-7 in chances at frame, although the Mountain Lions (20-1-3) engineered a 10-9 shot differential after halftime and manufactured seven corners, while yielding five in their lone loss this season.

Graduate student midfielder Yasmin Mosby, the Mountain East Conference Player of the Year, extended her goal scoring streak to 13 matches with her 26th strike of the year with 57:56 elapsed to put Concord ahead 1-0.

Three minutes later, sophomore midfielder Jen Bartlett drove a shot inside the top right post from about 25-yards out on the left side of the area following a scramble in front of the net.

Junior midfielder Michelle Brogden put the Mountain Lions ahead again when she touched in a cross inside the left post that was delivered by Mosby from the right side with just under 20 minutes left in regulation.

Saint Rose kept pushing though until a header by senior back Ciera Lundy drew Saint Rose level once again with 13 minutes to go in regulation. Lundy’s shot went high to the right side of the goal after a throw-in from freshman forward Mia Klammer was initially headed towards Lundy by sophomore midfielder Lauren Amerena.

A pair of freshmen in Grassia and Klammer then linked up for the dramatic game-winner.

Fifth year keeper Marika Laurendeau made four of her five saves over the final 47 minutes to keep the Golden Knights within striking distance. Her biggest came of a dangerous shot from junior back Zoe Belding in the final five minutes of regulation. Senior Leah Marsh made six of her seven stops in the opening period for Concord.