|Brianna Witt||Allie Benadon||Nicolette Keale|
SCRANTON, Pa. – Senior Brianna Witt (Sloatsburg, N.Y./Suffern) scored the game-winner with 1:22 left and The University of Scranton field hockey team (2-2) held on for a 2-1 win over the Misericordia Cougars (2-3) on Tuesday night at Weiss Field in Scranton.
Witt collected a loose ball off an initial shot from senior Gracie McClatchy (Havertown, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) and sent a shot past Misericordia goalie Katelyn Campbell to give the Royals a 2-1 lead with her first goal of the season. The play was set up by a penalty corner seconds earlier.
With the win, head coach Colleen Moyer is now two wins away from tying the program's all-time wins record. Moyer has 151 wins in her Scranton career and the all-time mark is held by Beth Howlett who recorded 153 wins over 15 seasons from 1980-1990 and 1994-1997.
The Royals earned five penalty corners and had a handful of chances in the first quarter, but were unable to breakthrough on the scoreboard for the time being. The Cougars opened the scoring with 7:46 to play in the second as Anna Effinger scored following a scrum in front of the goal. Four minutes later, sophomore Allie Benadon (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) rocketed a shot off a penalty corner taken by senior Nicolette Keale (Wall Township, N.J./Wall) and evened things at one apiece with her second goal of the young season.
Misericordia had a few scoring chances in the early stages of the second half, but senior goalie Claire McAllister (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) made a save on Tori Carsley's shot off a penalty corner to keep the game tied at one. Scranton held a slight 5-3 shot advantage in the second half and the two sides traded chances before Witt's late heroics lifted the hosts to the victory.
Scranton held a 10-6 shot advantage in the game and earned 15 penalty corners compared to four for Misericordia. McAllister registered three saves on the night, while Campbell tallied a pair for the Cougars. Witt had four shots to pace the Royals and Benadon had three.
The Royals head to Wilkes-Barre to battle King's (Pa.) in non-conference action on Thursday night. Start time at McCarthy Stadium is slated for 7 p.m.