Women's Soccer (14-3-2)
The women's soccer team continued its domination of the Landmark Conference, winning its second straight conference title and sixth in the conference's 11-year history. It was also the team's 28th overall conference title.
The Royals captured the championship with a 2-0 victory over Susquehanna in the championship match on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Fitzpatrick Field. Sophomore defender Rebecca Russo (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) was named the championship MVP after she scored the opening goal in the third minute on a corner kick by junior midfielder Taylor Stevens (Yardley, Pa./Villa Joseph Marie).
Scranton got the insurance goal in the 29th minute when junior forward Jamie Hreniuk (West Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) scored on an assist from junior midfielder Brittany Uricchio (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury).
The Royals' defense was stout all game long, holding Susquehanna to just six shots, only two of which were on goal. Senior goalkeeper Colleen Berry (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) saved both for her 12th shutout of the season.
Scranton reached the title game with a 3-0 victory over Elizabethtown in a semifinal match on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Fitzpatrick Field. Junior midfielder Erica Licari (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown East), senior Kelly Pompey (Scranton, Pa./Scranton) and freshman Corinne McDonald (Chalfont, Pa./Central Bucks South) scored goals in the victory.
The women's soccer team clinched an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with the conference championship. The Royals will face Rowan in a first-round match on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa. Game time is to be announced.
Women's Volleyball (35-5)
The University of Scranton volleyball team reached the Landmark Conference championship match for the first time since 2007, but suffered a 3-0 loss to Juniata in the title match on Saturday, Nov. 4.
The Royals' season ended with the loss as they were denied an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament despite leading the nation in victories with 35. Those 35 wins are also a single-season school record.
Scranton, the no. 2 seed, went on the road to face top-seeded Juniata in the championship match, but the Royals came up short in a three-set defeat (15-24, 16-25, 21-25). Junior outside hitter Kristin Kirwan (Park Ridge, N.J./Immaculate Heart Academy) led the Royals attack in the defeat with 11 kills while adding eight digs. Freshman setter Kindler Norman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) finished with 17 assists.
On Wednesday night in a semifinal against third-seeded Susquehanna, the Royals came out on top in a thrilling five-set match, 25-17, 22-25, 29-27, 21-25, 15-12. The match was the first Landmark Semifinal ever inside the John Long Center since the Royals joined the Landmark Conference in 2007, and Scranton's first win over Susquehanna since 2008.
Kirwan was brilliant in the victory, leading the way with 25 kills and 18 digs. The double-double was her 15th of the season and her third in the last four matches.
Sophomore Victoria Capogna (Farmingdale, N.Y./St. Anthony's) finished with 14 kills and five blocks, while senior Catherine Manning (Eastchester, N.Y./Eastchester) chipped in with 11 kills. Sophomore Kate Calabro (Seaford, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial), who came in late in the contest, finished with seven kills after playing some critical moments late for Scranton.
Norman was dazzling yet again as she finished with a staggering 61 assists, a season-best. The 61 assists were the fifth-most for a Royal in a match since 2002 and the most in a contest for Scranton since the 2007 season.
Norman also paced the Royals defense with 19 digs, while senior Morgan Rentzheimer (Allentown, Pa./Parkland) finished with 18 digs. Rounding out the top performers for Scranton were freshman Regina Schetroma (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East) with 17 digs, and senior Erica Byrne (Whitestone, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy), who had 11 digs.
Field Hockey (15-3)
The University of Scranton field hockey team battled Juniata College for 85 minutes in a Landmark Conference semifinal on Wednesday, Nov. 1, but the Royals' season came to a close in a 2-1 loss in overtime at Fitzpatrick Field.
Juniata, the third seed, handed second-seeded Scranton the defeat on an untimed penalty corner at the end of overtime. The deciding play came when Juniata (10-6-1) earned a corner with less than 30 seconds left in overtime. NCAA rules allow for the corner to be played out even if time expired, which was the case when the Eagles took their time lining up for the fateful play. The horn buzzed just before Juniata served the ball into play, and a cross to the right post was redirected into the goal for the game-winner.
Meredith Campbell (Media, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) put the first goal on the board in the 16th minute for Scranton on a perfect assist from junior forward Elizabeth Tolley (Brookside, N.J./West Morris Mendham). The goal extended Campbell's single season school record to 31 goals. It's also Landmark Conference single-season record, as she surpassed the previous record of 29 last week, which was set in 2013. Campbell's 69 points this season earns her the Landmark Conference and school single-season records.
Freshman goalkeeper Jenna Cyr (Coopersburg, Pa./Southern Lehigh) had five saves, all after halftime, including one in overtime. Senior defender Jessica Kaplowitz (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) made her sixth defensive save of the season during the second half.
Scranton's 15 victories this season are the third-most in program history, trailing only the team's 16 victories in both 1997 and 1998.
Men's Swimming & Diving (4-1)
The University of Scranton men's swimming & diving coasted to a pair of victories at Goucher on Saturday, as the Royals knocked off the host Gophers (184-61) and Juniata (193-80) in Towson, Md.
The day started for the Royals with a win in the 200 medley relay as the team of junior Michael Ramsthaler (Florham Park, N.J./Seton Hall Prep), sophomore Timothy Quigley (Hatboro, Pa. /Archbishop Wood), and juniors Chris Whalen (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip) and Brayan Winiarz (Long Pond, Pa./Evergreen Community) was victorious in 1:41.66.
The next victory for Scranton came in the 200 freestyle as senior Patrick Blaser (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) won in 1:55.29. Whalen then picked up a victory in the 100 backstroke in 57.54, while freshman Matthew Mills (Sewell, N.J./Washington Township) was victorious in the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.89.
Next up in the 200 butterfly, freshman John Fimmano (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) was the winner in 2:05.10 (taking the event by almost six seconds), while Ramsthaler won the 50 freestyle in 23.26. The domination for Scranton continued in the 100 freestyle as freshman Bobby McLoughlin (Morrisville, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep) was victorious in 51.61.
In the 200 backstroke, Mills became a two-time winner with a dominating victory after hitting the wall in 2:01.86 (taking the event by almost 18 seconds), while sophomore Gregory Spicka (Morris Plains, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) took the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:25.34 (winning by almost 11 seconds).
The roll of victories continued into the 500 freestyle, where freshman John Cannilla (Florham Park, N.J./Oratory Prep) won in 5:13.90, while Fimmano became a two-time winner after taking the 100-fly in 55.90.
The final individual event saw Quigley take the 200 individual medley in 2:09.24. The victory for the Royals was then finished off with a dominating performance in the 400 freestyle relay, where Scranton's "A" team won in 3:22.99.
The University of Scranton men's swimming & diving team returns to action on next Saturday, traveling to Dickinson for another dual meet. Action gets underway at 1 p.m.
Women's Swimming & Diving (5-0)
The University of Scranton women's swimming & diving team kept its winning ways going on Saturday at Goucher, as the Royals rolled past the host Gophers (165-90) and Juniata (176-58) in Towson, Md.
The day started off on the right foot for the Royals, as the 200 medley relay team coasted to a victory by almost five seconds, hitting the wall in 1:55.67. Swimming the relay for Scranton were seniors Raquel Wasserman (Pound Ridge, N.Y./The Fox Lane) and Emma Ilseman (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central), along with sophomore Riva Kelly (Bogota, N.J./Teaneck) and Jenna Harper (Easton, Pa./Easton Area).
The next victory for Scranton came in the 100 backstroke, where Kelly was victorious in 1:04.01. In the 100 breaststroke, Harper won in 1:11.34 (winning by almost five seconds), while Ilseman took the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.84.
Scranton then took a victory in the 200 backstroke, as freshman Cara Webster (Bradford, Pa./Bradford Area) finished on top with a time of 2:21.01, while junior Susan Neggia (Fair Lawn, N.J. /Immaculate Heart Academy) captured the 500 freestyle in 5:42.94 (winning by almost 13 seconds). Webster then finished off a great afternoon with a win in the 200 individual medley, hitting the wall in 2:25.25.
The Royals finished the day with a win in the 400 freestyle relay, as the team of Wasserman, Ilseman, freshman Marycate O'Sullivan (Nanuet, N.Y./Nanuet) and junior Lucy Fulton (Wayne, Pa. /Radnor) finished in 3:50.20.
The University of Scranton women's swimming & diving team returns to action on next Saturday, traveling to Dickinson for a dual meet. Action gets underway at 1 p.m.
The University of Scranton wrestling team opened its 2017-18 season by finishing eighth at the Ned McGinley Invitaitonal at King's College.
Sophomore Keegan Connelly (Schnecksville, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) was the Royals' top finisher, placing fourth at 197 pounds. Connelly entered as the no. 2 seed and posted three straight wins by decision to reach the semifinal where he lost a narrow 4-3 decision to Peter Pjetri of Oneonta State. Connelly rebounded with a win in a consolation semifinal before falling in the third-place match.
Three other wrestlers earned three victories for Scranton – sophomore Nicholas Ciaccia (Freehold, N.J./Howell) at 141 pounds, freshman Kyle Shaffer (Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah) at 149 pounds and sophomore John Sheedy (Somerset, N.J./Bishop George Ahr H.S.) at 157 pounds.
The Royals will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 11, when they host the Electric City Duals in the Long Center beginning at 10 a.m
This Week in University of Scranton Athletics
Saturday, Nov. 11
Wrestling – Electric City Duals (10 a.m.)
Women's cross country – at NCAA Mideast Regional, Newville, Pa. (11 a.m.)
Men's cross country – at NCAA Mideast Regional, Newville, Pa. (12:30 p.m.)
Men's swimming & diving – at Dickinson (1 p.m.)
Women's swimming & diving – at Dickinson (1 p.m.)
Women's soccer – NCAA Tournament first round, vs. Rowan, at Messiah College, Grantham, Pa. (TBA)