Junior Michaela Arbus assisted sophomore Christina Akalski in the 92nd minute for the game-winning goal in the women’s soccer Landmark Conference Semifinals Wednesday night against Elizabethtown College. The team defeated Elizabethtown College 2-1 in overtime and now advances to the Landmark Conference Championship. Scranton was the third seed and Elizabethtown was the second seed.
The game opened with each team scoring in the first half, followed by multiple offensive attacks by both teams without any goals produced.
Junior forward Gianna Vitolo scored the game’s first goal for Scranton only nine minutes into the game off an assist from Michaela Arbus. Elizabethtown answered quickly, scoring only 10 minutes later.
Elizabethtown outshot the Royals 23-7. Scranton’s goalkeeper Krissy Welch had a huge game, only letting up one goal out of ten shots on goal. After the second half, the game was tied at one and the teams then took the field again for sudden death overtime.
Forward Akalski scored the game-winning goal only 1:27 into overtime. Her goal came from an assist by forward Arbus, her second of the night.
With the win, the Royals will now move on to play in the conference finals seeking their fifth Landmark Conference Championship.
The Royals previously faced Elizabethtown Saturday at Fitzpatrick Field, losing 4-3 after being up 2-0 to start the game. The win Wednesday served as revenge for the Royals in their second game against Elizabethtown in only five days.
Scranton’s loss Saturday to Elizabethtown ended the women’s three-game winning streak in which they allowed zero goals in each of their last three games before Saturday.
The team finished the regular season with nine wins, seven losses and two ties, but the Royals really excelled in conference play. The Royals finished their conference matchups with a strong record of four wins, two losses and one tie.
The team has been dominating offensively, scoring a season total of 33 goals and only giving up 15 goals over the 18-game regular season.
Junior defender Erin Casey has been instrumental in the team’s defensive efforts, earning her the title of Landmark Conference Defensive Athlete of the Week for Oct. 20-26.
When talking about the team’s preparation for its upcoming game, Casey said, “We have definitely been focusing on opportunities like finishing offensively, going to goal and taking advantage of the shots we will be getting so that when we do get these opportunities at game time we will score. Also, increasing our defense has been key, we want to increase our defensive pressure.”
The Royals’ preparation paid off as they won a hard fought game, putting them in the Landmark Conference Finals. The women’s soccer team will play Catholic University for the Landmark Conference Championship at 11 a.m. Saturday in Washington, D.C.
Nov. 6, 2014