Jumbos to play College of New Jersey on Friday in Greensboro, NC

NCAA Division III Tournament Quarterfinals
Tufts 1    Oneonta State 1    2OT    (Tufts advances on penalty kicks, 4-3)

At Oneonta, NY
Sunday, November 20, 2005

Tufts (15-3-2)   1   0   0   0   =   1
Oneonta State (21-2-2)   0   1   0   0   =   1

Scoring: T, Lindsay Garmirian (unassisted) 25:02; O, Christine Marra (Colleen Wolbert) 76:06.

Goalkeeping: O, Laura Morcone (110:00 - 1 GA) 2 saves; T, Annie Ross (110:00 - 1 GA) 7 saves.

Shots: O, 17; T, 6.

Corner kicks: O, 6; T, 1.

Penalty kicks results:
1. Sarah Callaghan (T), goal
2. Patricia Jaeger (O), goal
3. Joelle Emery (T), goal
4. Sarah Begley (O), goal
5. Kim Harrington (T), goal
6. Mary Velan (O), goal
7. Lindsay Garmirian (T), goal
8. Christine Marra (O), missed
9. Lydia Claudio (T), save by Laura Morcone
10. Sarah Tauber (O), save by Annie Ross
Final, 4-3 Tufts

ONEONTA, N.Y. -- Today's NCAA Div. III sectional championship was played to a draw between host Oneonta State and Tufts University and had to be decided by a shoot out. The Jumbos prevailed over the Red Dragons 4-3 to move on to next weekend's national championship final four in Greensboro, N.C. beginning Friday. Tufts (15-3-2) joins The College of New Jersey, The University of Chicago and Messiah College in Greensboro. Tufts opponent in the semifinals will be TCNJ, who they played for the national championship in 2000.

"Obviously we are excited about the opportunity to play for a national championship," said Tufts coach Martha Whiting. "We certainly will have another tough game ahead, but today's game wasn't easy either. We will have to be ready to play on Friday."

In today's game the stand-out performer was Tufts senior tri-captain Lindsay Garmirian (Amherst, MA). She scored the lone goal for Tufts in the first half, made a save on the goal line in the second half and then converted the eventual winning goal during the shootout.

"We played hard as a team today," said Garmirian. "We knew Oneonta had a strong offense, but we knew if we played together we would have a chance. This was a tough game and we know that this weekend will be even harder."

Garmirian's goal came in the 26th minute of play as she was in the right place at the right time. A ball was floated into the box from the right flank where the ball was deflected on a failed clearing attempt. Garmirian was standing right where the ball settled and wasted no time in blasting a shot by the Oneonta keeper.

The remainder of the opening half was played between the two boxes where neither team had any dangerous opportunities. The shots were 4-2 in favor of Oneonta at halftime, which reflected the flow of play during the first 45 minutes.

Oneonta turned up the pressure and the attack right from the opening whistle of the second half. They continued to generate scoring chance after scoring chance, but could not get the equalizer. On two occasions the ball got behind the Tufts keeper only to have defenders clear the ball off the goal line to preserve the lead for the Jumbos. In the 49th minute Oneonta had a corner kick that was executed perfectly with a header at the end of the service by freshman Christine Marra (Thiells, NY). This opportunity was knocked off the goal line by Garmirian. The second dangerous situation was in the 62nd minute when the Red Dragons had four players up against only two defenders. This opportunity was created by a great rush from freshman Sarah Begley (North Chili, NY) who crossed the ball to a waiting Tricia Jaeger (Baldwin, NY). Jaeger squared to the ball and directed towards the back of the net, but was denied by sophomore Jessie Wagner (Sudbury, MA), whom Jaeger didn't see covering the open net.

Three minutes later Tufts had a counter attack that saw senior Ariel Samuelson (Newton, MA) beat the Oneonta defense to a ball, but her shot was saved by Laura Morcone (Mechanicville, NY) who was charging out towards her.

The Red Dragons continued its pressure and finally got rewarded in the 77th minute on a free kick. Senior Colleen Wolbert (Rotterdam, NY) sent a perfect ball from the left flank to the far post where Marra was able to get her head on it to complete the play.

After not deciding anything in regulation the two teams moved to overtime. Neither team did anything in the first overtime period. In the second overtime the most dangerous opportunity went to Tufts with Samuelson putting a shot on goal from about 20 yards out that Morcone was able to get her right hand on to deflect over the goal.

The shoot out went one-for-one through the first six kicks as the score was 3-3. The Jumbos took the lead 4-3 when Garmirian converted her attempt. The first miss came on Oneonta's fourth kick as Marra sailed a ball wide right. On the ensuing kick for Tufts, Morcone came up with a diving right-hand save to keep the Red Dragons alive. Senior Sarah Tauber (Valley Stream, NY) stepped up for Oneonta with a chance to tie the score and force extra kicks. She looked to go low to the right side and was denied by Tufts junior keeper Annie Ross (Newton, MA) and the game was over.

"We train for this," said Ross when asked how do you know where the kicker might be going. "We are taught to read the hips of the kicker. I knew exactly where every kicker was going and I'm glad that I was able to stop this one."

"We played like champions today," said Oneonta coach Tracey Ranieri. "I feel privileged to coach these women who give you everything they have for as long as the game lasts. I felt that it was just a matter of time before we would score the go-ahead goal, but time ran out."

For Oneonta (21-2-2), it's the fourth straight year and fifth in the last six seasons that they have won 20 or more games. It is the third consecutive year that they have won 21 games including 2003 when the Red Dragons captured the national championship.

For Tufts, which was playing in its third NCAA Quarterfinal, this is the farthest they've advanced in the NCAA tournament since 2000 when they hosted played for the national championship.