SCRANTON, Pa. – The University of Scranton field hockey team battled throughout the game, but fell to the MIT Engineers (14-4) by a score of 3-0 in an NCAA Tournament first round contest on Wednesday afternoon at Weiss Field.
Scranton sees their historic season come to an end with a record of 13-8. The Royals captured the program's first Landmark Conference title and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1997.
MIT advances to the second round and will play SUNY Geneseo on Saturday afternoon at TCNJ in Ewing, N.J.
The Engineers had a chance just over two minutes into the game, but senior goalie Claire McAllister (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) made a save on Taylor Grey's shot to keep the game scoreless for the time being. MIT got on the board with 5:18 left in the first quarter as Emma Majercak tipped home an initial shot from Paige Forester and Amanda Garofalo extended the lead to 2-0 with a goal in the late stages of the quarter. Scranton nearly found the back of the net in the 20th minute on a shot from senior Nicolette Keale (Wall Township, N.J./Wall) was turned away by Engineers goalie Grace Moore. The Royals put forth a strong defensive effort throughout the contest and McAllister made a couple of key saves after a penalty corner in the 24th minute as well as a defensive save from senior Lauren Earnshaw (Audubon, Pa./Methacton).
The Royals tallied three penalty corners in the third quarter, but were unable to find the back of the net. Senior Gracie McClatchy (Havertown, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) had a look from the top of the circle in the early stages of the fourth quarter, but her shot was blocked on the way through by an MIT defender. Forester made it a 3-0 game with 5:39 to play as she converted on a shot from near the top of the circle.
MIT held a 13-2 advantage in shots and McAllister registered a career-high nine saves for the Royals. The nine saves topped her previous career-best mark of eight that had been accomplished on Oct. 30 at Vassar. Moore made one save for the Engineers.
The game marked the final contest in a Scranton uniform for six seniors: Brianna Witt (Sloatsburg, N.Y./Suffern), McClatchy, Keale, Earnshaw, Caroline Mullen (Chester Springs, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) and McAllister. The 2019 senior class helped lead the Royals to 46 wins, three Landmark Conference Tournament appearances as well as the afore-mentioned Landmark Conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth.