|Gianna Vitolo||Carolyn Warner|
|Kelly Egan||Hannah DeMars|
Photo gallery (by Dan Ceccacci)
The showdown for first place lived up to its billing, but The University of Scranton women's soccer team came out on the short end, falling to Catholic, 3-2, in double overtime on Saturday afternoon at Fitzpatrick Field.
The loss drops the Royals (10-3-1, 4-1 Landmark) into a second-place tie in the Lnadmark Conference with three regular season games remaining. It also snapped the team's nine-match winning streak that dated back to Sept. 13.
Scranton held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the match, but Catholic (12-2, 5-0 Landmark) battled back both times, ultimately forcing overtime with a penalty kick goal in the 85th minute.
The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute when senior forward Gianna Vitolo (Denville, N.J./Morris Knolls) scored after taking a beautiful pass through the Catholic defense by junior midfielder Kelly Egan (Essex Fells, N.J./West Essex).
Catholic tied the match in the 34th minute, and it stayed that way into halftime and throughout a mostly uneventful second half until the 79th minute when the Royals received a free kick from about 30 yards out. The kick by sophomore midfielder Hannah DeMars (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) found the foot of junior defender Carolyn Warner (Morris Plains, N.J./Parsippany Hills), whose shot found the bottom right corner for a 2-1 lead.
But Catholic knotted the score on the penalty kick six minutes later and won it with 4:07 left on the clock in double overtime.
Vitolo's goal was her fourth of the season and 18th of her career. Warner's tally was her third of the season and of her career. Egan now has six assists this season, tied for the team lead, and also leads the team with 16 points. She has 16 assists for her career. The assist by DeMars was her second of the season and of her career.
Catholic held a 15-9 edge in shots, but Scranton junior goalkeeper Krissy Welsh (Swarthmore, Pa./Strath Haven) had six saves in the loss. Each team had four corner kicks.
Scranton will be back in action on Wednesday, Oct. 21, when the Royals travel to Reading, Pa. to take on Penn State-Berks in a non-conference match at 7 p.m.