Rams Fall to No. 1 Messiah in NCAA's

Rams Fall to No. 1 Messiah in NCAA's

Rams Fall to No. 1 Messiah in NCAA's

No. 1 Messiah - 6, Farmingdale State - 1

Grantham, Pa. - The Farmingdale State women's soccer team fell to No. 1 Messiah College (20-0-1) in the first round of the Division III NCAA Tournament on Saturday night in Grantham, Pa. The Rams, who end the season with a 15-5-3 record, scored the programs first-ever NCAA goal against the top-ranked Falcons, while also halting their six game shutout streak.

Messiah scored just 99 seconds into the contest, tacking on another goal six minutes later to help cruise to a 6-1 win - the program’s 14th straight win this season and sixth consecutive in NCAA Tournament play.

The Rams fell behind 3-0 at the half, while freshman goalkeeper Stacey Rao (Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Connetquot) made five saves in her 45 minutes of play, before sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Maass (Mastic Beach, N.Y./William Floyd) took over the duties in net for the second half.

Farmingdale's lone goal came with just over 20 minutes remaining, as freshman forward Jamie Smith (Holtsville, N.Y./Sachem East) snuck by the Falcons defense for a one-on-one with the Falcons' goalkeeper, and sent a ball into the lower left corner to break the shutout with her 12th goal of the season.

Messiah finished with a 19-5 advantage in total shots and a 12-3 disparity in shots on goal. Farmingdale State came up with its second-best chance to score just 10 minutes after halftime, but goalkeeper Autumn Reilly made a great leaping save off a shot from the Rams’ freshman defender Theresa Martorano (Commack, N.Y./Commack), going skyward to tip a curling ball over the crossbar.

Messiah will now face Endicott College Sunday evening at 6 p.m., for the right to continue on to next weekend’s sectional round. Endicott (17-4-1) advanced via a 1-1 double-overtime tie over SUNY Geneseo (14-4-3) in Saturday’s late First Round game at Shoemaker Field. The Gulls claimed a 6-5 penalty-kick decision following 110 minutes of soccer which ended in a deadlock.

With seven starting freshman on the Rams 2009 roster, we're sure to see more achievements from this team next season.