|Claire McAllister||Allie Benadon||Gracie McClatchy|
GWYNEDD VALLEY, Pa. – Gwynedd Mercy's Caitlyn Thornton scored the game-winning goal with 0:40 left and The University of Scranton field hockey team (0-2) dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker to the Griffins (3-0) on Tuesday night at GM Athletic Complex in Gwynedd Valley.
Thornton gathered a bouncing ball in front of the net and was able to slide her shot past outstretched Royals goalie Claire McAllister (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) to give the hosts the lead.
McAllister made a pair of saves in the contest and stood tall as she faced pressure throughout much of the fourth quarter as the Griffins tallied five penalty corners in the final stanza. The senior goalie faced a total of eight shots on the night with seven of those coming in the final 30 minutes.
Scranton had a flurry of chances in the early going with four shots in the first quarter, but were unable to breakthrough against Griffins goalie Abi Kennedy for the time being. Ryan Murray opened the scoring at the 11:39 mark of the second quarter to give Gwynedd Mercy a 1-0 edge. The Royals had a pair of penalty corners in the first three minutes of the second half and senior Gracie McClatchy (Havertown, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) fed teammate Allie Benadon (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) at the top of the circle who ripped a shot past Kennedy to tie things at one apiece. The goal was Benadon's first of the season and the third of her career.
Senior Brianna Witt (Sloatsburg, N.Y./Suffern) had three shots on net to pace Scranton, while McClatchy and fellow senior Caroline Mullen (Chester Springs, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) also registered one shot apiece.
Gwynedd Mercy held a slight 8-6 advantage in shots and a 7-6 edge in penalty corners as the two teams battled back and forth throughout the course of the night.
The Royals return to action on Saturday, Sept. 7 when they head north to battle Elmira College in a non-conference tilt at 1 p.m. Scranton has defeated the Eagles by identical 4-0 margins in each of the last two seasons.