Captains Sarah Gibbons, Jessica
|Samantha Russo||Ellen Walker|
Photo Gallery (courtesy of Dan Ceccacci)
As a defender, senior Emily Farrell (Telford, Pa./Souderton Area) gets very few chances to score for The University of Scranton women’s soccer team. She got a rare chance in the Landmark Conference championship on Sunday, and she took full advantage.
Farrell’s header in the 85th minute broke a scoreless tie and propelled the Royals to a 2-0 victory over Moravian College in the championship match at chilly Fitzpatrick Field. The conference championship is the third straight for Scranton and fourth in the Landmark Conference’s six years of existence.
Scranton (9-7-4) earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, which begins Saturday, Nov. 10. The Royals will find out their first-round opponent and site on Monday, Nov. 5, at 1:30 p.m.
After Scranton couldn’t capitalize on numerous scoring chances late in the second half, the Royals earned a corner kick. Sophomore midfielder Ellen Walker (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) lofted the kick toward the far post, where Farrell got a clean header on it, and the ball snuck over the goal line despite plenty of traffic in front.
The goal was Farrell’s fourth of her career and first since her freshman season. The assist was Walker’s third of the season.
With Moravian (10-8-2) pushing forward in search of the tying goal, the Royals put the game away when junior forward Samantha Russo (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown) took the ball away from a defender and beat the Moravian goalie for a 2-0 lead with 55 seconds remaining. The goal was Russo’s team-leading fifth of the season.
Russo now has 63 career points, the 13th-most in school history. Her 22 career goals are tied for 15th in Scranton history.
The Royals outshot the Greyhounds, 22-8, and held a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks. Russo had a team-high five shots for Scranton while senior midfielder Sarah Gibbons (Monroe Township, N.J./Monroe Township) had three.
Moravian senior goalie Tori Korona (Easton, Pa./Easton) made 10 saves, including a pair of stellar stops in the second half that kept the game scoreless.
Scranton junior goalie Kelsy McAnelly (West Chester, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) made a pair of saves to earn her 12th shutout of the season, tied for fifth-most in a single season in Scranton history. Her 22 career shutouts are tied for third-most in school history.
The Royals have now won 19 conference championships in their 30 seasons – four in the Landmark Conference, seven during the school’s former affiliation with the Freedom Conference and nine during their affiliation with the Middle Atlantic Conference.
Scranton will be making its 14th NCAA tournament appearance, including its third straight.