The College of Staten Island is fresh off of their biggest win in program history, scoring a 2-1 winner over Lehman College in the 2015 CUNYAC Postseason Championship that carried with it, an automatic entry into the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament. It is the first time CSI is playing in the 64-team tourney, and they will match up against the top team in the nation in Messiah College. Messiah is the host institution for the first two rounds of the tournament. Later Saturday afternoon, Springfield College will take on Montclair State University in the other game at Messiah. The two winning teams match up on Sunday at 1:00pm.
CSI vs. MESSIAH COLLEGE AT-A-GLANCE
Matchup: CSI (13-4-1 overall, 4-1-1 CUNYAC) vs. Messiah College (18-0-2 Overall, 8-0 MAC)
Where: Shoemaker Field @ Messiah College – 1 College Avenue, Mechanicsburg, PA
Ticket Info: $6 – Adults, $3 – Seniors/Students, $2 – Children 3-12
Tournament Webpage: http://gomessiah.com/sports/2015/11/10/WSNCAA122015.aspx?id=280
Live Video: http://gomessiah.tv/
Live Statistics: http://gomessiah.tv/
All-Time Series: First Meeting
Players To Watch (CSI): CSI senior Danielle Alexandrini is coming off a tremendous week as part of the CUNYAC Championship Tournament. She scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win over Brooklyn in semifinal play, followed by the opening goal against Lehman, a game CSI ultimately won in overtime, 2-1. Fellow senior Samantha Wysokowski scored the overtime game-winner and is tied with Alexandrini for the team lead with 15 goals. Freshman Lauren Smith will be heavily leaned upon to help CSI control the midfield. Smith was recently named the CUNYAC Rookie of the Year. Keeper Kristy Colangelo will put her stellar .838 and 9 shutouts on the line on Saturday against Messiah, a team averaging 4.15 goals per game.
Players To Watch (MC): Senior Nikki Elsaesser is having a stellar final season, posting 24 goals for the No. 1 ranked Falcons. She has added 14 assists this season and she has scored a goal in the last eight games. Junior defender Kayla Deckert posted the game-winning assist in Messiah’s MAC Championship win over Arcadia, and now has five helpers on the season. Audra Larson has started every game in net for the Falcons and has been sensational, yielding only three goals on 31 shots, good for a .908 save percentage.
News and Notes: This morning’s contest pits two teams with vastly different NCAA Tournament backgrounds. This is CSI’s first trip to Nationals, while Messiah is making its 16th appearance, having won five National Championships, including back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. Messiah’s last loss in regulation came on November 23, 2013, a 1-0 overtime defeat at the hands of Ithaca in the NCAA Round of 16. Since then they are 40-0-5. The team went undefeated last year at 22-0-3, but their run at a national championship ended at the Round of 8 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie with Lynchburg College. The 9 shutouts CSI has posted this year is a new school record, and their 19 goals allowed this season are an all-time program low. Both of these teams like to spread the scoring around. Together, they boast 29 different goal scorers among them.