No. 1 Seed Field Hockey Begins Landmark Conference Title Chase on Wednesday

The University of Scranton field hockey team will host a Summer ID Clinic on June 14.
The University of Scranton field hockey team will host a Summer ID Clinic on June 14.

The University of Scranton Field Hockey team clinched the No. 1 seed in the Landmark Conference Tournament with a 2-1 win versus Juniata on Saturday and will host No. 4 seed Elizabethtown Blue Jays in the Landmark Conference Semifinals on Wednesday night at Weiss Field at 7 p.m.

The winner of Wednesday's game will play the winner of the Wednesday's other semifinal between No. 2 Catholic and No. 3 Susquehanna. Saturday's championship will be played at the site of the highest remaining seed at a time to be announced.

Admission to the semifinal match is $7 for adults and $4 for seniors (62 and older) and non-Landmark Conference students. Children ages 10 and under are admitted free of charge, as are all Landmark Conference students, faculty and staff with their school ID.

Scranton went 11-7 (6-1 Landmark) in the regular season and won four of their final six games including the afore-mentioned 2-1 victory over Juniata on Saturday to clinch the No. 1 seed. Elizabethtown was 6-12 overall (4-3 Landmark) in the regular season and clinched the No. 4 seed by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker over Juniata. The Blue Jays dropped a tough 2-1 decision at Catholic on Saturday.

In the regular season meeting between the two teams on Oct. 19, the Royals' Amelia Sharp (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) scored the eventual game-winning goal on a penalty stroke with 2:41 left en route to a 2-1 victory. Each of the last four meetings have been decided by one goal.

This marks the third consecutive playoff appearance for Scranton after an appearance in the Landmark Conference Championship game a year ago. Last season, the No. 4 seed Royals upset top-seeded Catholic in the semifinals before falling just short against Susquehanna in the championship game.

Senior Gracie McClatchy (Havertown, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) leads the team and ranks tied for third in the Landmark Conference with 10 goals, while sophomore Allie Benadon (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) and senior Nicolette Keale (Wall Township, N.J./Wall) have tallied five goals apiece. Benadon, McClatchy and senior Brianna Witt (Sloatsburg, N.Y./Suffern) are tied for the team lead with four assists.

Senior goalie Claire McAllister (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) has been a standout for the Royals in net and leads the conference with a 1.28 goals against average, while also ranking third in save percentage (.750).

Elizabethtown is led offensively by senior Lauren Scheib who is tops on the team in goals (7) and assists (4). Senior Olivia Beachley (three goals, three assists) and freshman Chloe Smith (two goals, five assists) have contributed nine points apiece for the Blue Jays.

For live video of the game, click here and for live stats, click here.