The University of Scranton field hockey team battled Juniata College for 85 minutes in Wednesday night's Landmark Conference semifinal, but what happened after that time ran out was what doomed the Royals.
Juniata, the third seed, scored on an untimed penalty corner at the end of overtime to hand second-seeded Scranton a 2-1 defeat at Fitzpatrick Field. The goal capped the Eagles' comeback from a 1-0 halftime deficit and put them in Saturday's championship game against top-seeded Catholic.
The deciding play came when Juniata (10-6-1) earned a penalty 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.
Scranton (15-3) had taken a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute on a goal by senior forward Meredith Campbell (Media, Pa./Archbishop Carroll). Junior forward Elizabeth Tolley (Brookside, N.J./West Morris Mendham) dribbled into the right side of the circle and sent a perfect cross to a wide open Campbell, who knocked it home to put the Royals ahead.
The goal was the 31st of the season for Campbell, extending her single-season school record. 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 are also school and Landmark Conference single-season records.
For her career, Campbell has 41 goals, tied for fourth-most in a single season in Scranton history. Her 92 career points are sixth-most in program history.
Tolley's assist on the goal was her fifth of the season, a career high. She now has nine career assists.
Juniata tied the score in the second half on a goal in the 44th minute when an Eagles forward gained control after a scrum in front and sent a shot inside the right post.
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) added a defensive save in the second half, her sixth of the season and 17th of her career.
Scranton's 15 victories this season are the third-most in a single season in program history, trailing only the 16 victories by the Royals in 1997 and 1998.