Published: November 12, 2015
In a rematch of last year’s title match, The University walked off a muddy, wet field on Saturday after losing 3-2 against Catholic University in the Landmark Conference championship.
The Royals (13-4-2) led by one goal twice during the game only to see the defending champion Catholic (16-2) score two goals 34 seconds apart in the 83rd and 84th minutes to retain the title.
Junior midfielder Christina Akalski scored early in the first half to give the Royals a one-goal edge. Fellow junior midfielder Kelly Egan provided the assist.
“She got through a lot of players, and passed me the ball,” Akalski said. “Nobody was defending me and I just took a shot with my left foot and it went upper 90.”
Akalski said her goal pumped up the team. Junior goalkeeper Krissy Welsh blocked seven shots to anchor a 1-0 Royals lead entering halftime.
Catholic clipped on the board in the 53rd minute thanks to Kirsten Wosleger.
Kelly Egan responded with a goal seven minutes later.
As time was ticking away, the Royals could feel the Landmark title within their reach. On the other side, Catholic felt the championship slipping away and took chances offensively. The risk paid off as Ava Brown and Lindsay Aleman tallied goals en route to securing Catholic’s second championship in a row.
A quick glance at the score sheet appears as though the Royals were strongly outplayed. The team generated eight shots (seven on net) while Catholic collected 20 shots with 13 being on net.
However, the Royals’ scoring chances were high quality plays.
Senior defender Jasmine Sconciafurno felt everyone came out ready. Everyone moved the ball efficiently and moved quickly. She said that she and her teammates played an overall better game than Catholic.
Catholic and The University are rivals, and have been since co-captains Sconcaafurno and Erin Casey were first-year students.
The University’s women’s soccer team played this game without co-captain Erin Casey. Casey tore her ACL, MCL and meniscus in her left knee prior to the season. Therefore, the team rallied around her despite missing her skills on the field.
“We had probably the closest team I’ve ever been on… you can see that 31 girls wanted it all and wanted to win that championship,” Casey said. Casey became a team manager and mentored the younger women on the team. She was happy to be leading from the sideline, but wished she could have played on the field with her friends.
Head coach Colleen Pivirotto called this year’s women’s soccer team one of the best she’s coached.
Eight seniors, including two starters, will be graduating, and that is a large number being that the team is so small. The graduating class is the first graduating class that has been with coach Pivirotto for its first, full, four years at The Univeristy.
The University’s soccer team wants to return to the championship game next year for the seventh year in a row, but come out with their fifth overall championship.
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