A 1-1 draw after double overtime landed the women’s soccer team the first place seed in the Landmark Conference playoffs.
Senior goalkeeper Kelsy McAnelly had four saves after being one of four seniors honored on senior day prior to the start of the game. Samantha Russo, Katie Hennigan and Kaitlyn Greeley were also honored along with McAnelly before the Royals took the field.
The Royals took an early lead when Russo drilled the ball into the lower right corner of the goal off from junior Ellen Walker corner kick.
The defensive team of Greely and sophomores Erin Casey, Jasmine Sconciafurnio and Megan Manzo allowed Catholic five shots on goal.
After jumping ahead early, the Royals struggled to find the net again.
“We had a lot of chances where we just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. It was definitely frustrating for us, but at the same time it was good that we were getting opportunities to score,” Manzo said.
A Catholic loss would have ended the season for the Cardinals. Going into the game, the Royals were in search of a win in order to secure the first-place seed in playoffs.
“We definitely wanted to win so in that sense we weren’t satisfied with a tie. After the game we learned that a tie was enough to get us the number one seed in the playoffs, so then we moved on and focused on the next game,” head coach Colleen Murphy said.
“We were playing for a lot because we wanted the number one seed. I do think we controlled the ball a lot during the game and we played a pretty solid game,” Manzo said.
In the first half the Royals proved they took advantage of the opportunities they had outshooting Catholic 6-2 and getting off five corner kicks against Catholic’s zero. It was a closely-fought game from both sides.
“Both teams had a lot of chances; I thought it was a pretty even game. We dominated in the first half, I thought they had the better of the second half, and both overtimes were pretty even,” Murphy said.
Catholic found the equalizer in the 63rd minute when junior forward Kaylre Greaves deflected in a direct kick from first-year midfielder Alexis Garcia.
“We just made some poor decisions near goal. We gave up a couple fouls that we would have liked to have back and ultimately they scored off a set piece, so we would like to have been more composed in those areas,” Murphy said.
Catholic, which has been unable to beat Scranton since 2009, attacked through the game and definitely threatened the goal on multiple occasions, including a shot off the crossbar in the second overtime. Both teams came close on scoring opportunities.
“Late in the second half and in the overtimes we created a lot of opportunities and worked really hard, and so did they. Our work rate especially picked up and had a lot of spirit and heart going into it,” Manzo said.
Murphy anticipated Wednesday’s game against Moravian would be very competitive. Her pregame prediction was correct as the Royals defeated the Greyhounds 1-0 and had the slight edge in shots 9-7. She also said the team members were determined to play to their style, be disciplined in their shape and be smart when going to goal.
The Royals scored in the seventh minute when first-year midfielder Kelly Egan blasted a shot from 16 yards out off a pass from sophomore midfielder Gianna Vitolo.
With the win, the Royals will host the Landmark Conference Championship Saturday at home against third-seeded Drew University.
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