Women’s Soccer Denied By Late Goals In Landmark Conference Championship

Junior midfielder Christina Akalski scored her fourth goal of the season in Saturday's Landmark Conference championship.
Junior midfielder Christina Akalski scored her fourth goal of the season in Saturday's Landmark Conference championship.
Kelly
Egan
Christina
Akalski
Krissy
Welsh


Box score

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The University of Scranton women's soccer team was less than seven minutes from a victory in the Landmark Conference championship on Saturday, but top-seeded Catholic showed why it has lost just twice this season, scoring twice in a 34-second span to stun the Royals, 3-2, in the title match.

The Royals (13-4-2) held 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but Catholic (16-2) showed its offensive firepower when it mattered most to claim its second straight conference title. The Cardinals defeated the Royals in last year's title match, 1-0.

Junior midfielder Christina Akalski (Long Beach, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) gave Scranton a 1-0 lead in the first half when she scored in the 13th minute on an assist by fellow junior midfielder Kelly Egan (Essex Fells, N.J./West Essex). Scranton took that 1-0 lead into halftime thanks to seven first-half saves by junior goalkeeper Krissy Welsh (Swarthmore, Pa./Strath Haven).

Catholic tied the score with a goal in the 54th minute, but Egan had a response in the 61st minute when she scored her eighth goal of the season and second of the playoffs.

Scranton held the narrow 2-1 lead for most of the second half until Catholic pulled even with a goal at the 83:43 mark. Before the Royals could catch their breath, the Cardinals took the lead at the 84:17 mark and held on from there.

Catholic finished the game with a 20-8 edge in shots and 5-2 in corner kicks. Welsh finished the afternoon with a season-high 10 saves, and junior forward Kelsey Bacon (Macungie, Pa./Emmaus) led the Royals with three shots.

Scranton was making its sixth straight Landmark Conference championship appearance and seventh overall. The Royals had won the title four times – 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Scranton will now wait til Monday to find out if the team will receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The field is scheduled to be announced at 1 p.m. The Royals are ranked eighth in the Mid-Atlantic region rankings on NCAA.com.

--ROYALS--