Albany, NY – Sage's women's soccer team hosted the Panthers of SUNY-Old Westbury on Saturday in the first round of the 2014 Skyline Conference women's soccer tournament. Seeded No. 3, Sage triumphed 5-1 over the No. 6 seeded Panthers and advances to the semifinals at No. 2 seeded Mt. St. Mary College on November 5. The Gators improve to 11-4-2, while Old Westbury drops to 9-8-1. The win victories for the Gators ties the mark for most wins in a season, first set by the Russell Sage team in 2003, when they went 11-6-2.
With the win over the Panthers on Saturday, the Gators tied the record for most wins in a season. The first 11-win season was in 2003 as then Russell Sage College went 11-6-2. The 2014 Gators that are under the guidance of rookie head coach Andrew Gamarra, and will look to break the mark when they play next in the league's semifinals next week. Since joining the Skyline Conference in 2007, Sage has appeared in the conference tournament seven of eight years, while recording just one win in that time span. The win was in 2009 as Sage beat Mt. St. Mary College, 1-0 to advance in the conference tournament.
Old Westbury struck first as senior Jordan Schildt (East Yaphank, NY/Longwood) converted the pass from rookie Mayra Bonilla (Brentwood, NY/Brentwood) at 26:50. Sage tied the score just second later as sophomore Taylor Lynch (Woodstock, NY/Saugerties) fired in the score at 27:04 off the opening kick pass from junior Nicole Maher (Glen Cove, NY/Saint Dominic).
Less than two minutes later, the Gators owned a 2-1 lead as sophomore Cassidy Bruen (Baldwinsville, NY/Baldwinsville) scored on the pass from sophomore Savannah Mason (Wynantskill, NY/Averill Park) at 28:54.
Rookie Jenna Retell (Schaghticoke, NY/Burnt Hills Ballston Lake) was awarded a penalty kick at 31:35 after a hard foul in the box and converted the attempt for the score, giving Sage a 3-1 halftime lead.
The Gators added two more scores in the second half as junior Shelby Ruppenthal (Albany, NY/Guilderland) and Mason each found the net.
OW's leading scorer, senior Stephanie Maybie (North Massapequa, NY/Plainedge) was awarded a penalty kick at 66:28 and Sage's senior keeper Teagan Waddingham (Coeymans Hollow, NY/Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk) made a save to stop the shot.
For the game, Mason finished with three points on a goal and an assist while Maher added two assists.
On the season, Mason leads the Gators with her 34 points on 15 goals and 4 assists, while Maher now has 24 points on 9 goals and 6 assists. Maher is continuing her climb in the Gators record book as she is now tied for the No. 3 spot in career points with 67. She is tied with Michaela McBride (67 points, 2001-2003), as she has 27 goals with 13 assists.
Waddingham finished the afternoon with 12 saves and stands at 10-4-2 in goal this season. She continues to make her record book climb as she now has 305 career saves, which is No. 4, while having played in 47 games and is now No. 2 all-time. She has 4,205 career minutes (No. 3).
Old Westbury's starting keeper, senior Caitlin Thomas (Patchogue, NY/Patchogue-Medford) made the start and played 70:33 minutes with four goals allowed and five saves. She drops to 8-8-1, while sharing time in net on Saturday with rookie Melissa Muller (Holbrook, NY/Sachem North), who played 19:27 with one save and one goal allowed.
Sage returns to action on Wednesday, November 5 travelling to Mt. St. Mary College for a 5 p.m. match-up with the Knights at Kaplan Field in the league's semifinals.