|Jamie Hreniuk||Brittany Uricchio
ALLENTOWN, Pa. – When the women's soccer teams from The University of Scranton and Muhlenberg square off, the result tends to include plenty of drama. On Tuesday evening, the Royals added another epic chapter to that story.
Sophomore midfielder Jamie Hreniuk (West Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) scored twice with less than five minutes to play and fellow sophomore midfielder Brittany Uricchio (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) scored with less than a minute to go in the first overtime to give Scranton a 3-2 victory at Varsity Field.
The victory was the fifth straight for Scranton (5-1-1) over Muhlenberg, but three of them have been tension-filled right to the very end. Last season, the Royals scored a ho-hum 2-0 victory at home, but the victories in the two seasons prior were stunners.
In 2014, the match was scoreless until the 89th minute when now-senior forward Samantha Wargo (Kings Park, N.Y./Saint Anthony's) scored to give Scranton the victory. In 2013, fellow senior forward Kelsey Bacon (Macungie, Pa./Emmaus) – a freshman back then – scored in the 89th minute to tie the match at 1 and force overtime, and then scored seven minutes into overtime to give the Royals a wild win.
Tuesday night eclipsed both of those in terms of drama and excitement.
Despite outshooting Muhlenberg (2-4) all game, the Royals found themselves trailing 2-0 with five minutes left. That's when Hreniuk, who entered the night on a three-game scoring streak went to work. First, she scored in the 86th minute when she collected a loose ball in the box and scored, pulling Scranton within striking distance. Ninety-eight seconds later, she beat a defender and scored late in the 87th minute, knotting the match and forcing the match into overtime.
Then, Uricchio provided the night's final dramatic moment as the clock wound down in the first overtime. After the Royals knocked on the door early in the period and then nearly won it midway through on a shot by Hreniuk that would've given her a hat trick, Uricchio finished the job at 99:25 when Hreniuk served the ball in and the Mules goalkeeper couldn't control it before Uricchio scored the match-winner.
Hreniuk, who picked up an assist on the game's final play, finished the night with a career-high five points. She now leads the team in goals (5) and points (12) after not recording a single point in her freshman season. Uricchio's goal was her third on the season, and she is now second on the team in goals. Sophomore midfielder Erica Licari (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown East) assisted on both of Hreniuk's goals and now has a team-high three assists and is second on the team in points (7).
Scranton finished the night with a 32-8 edge in shots, including 24-3 after halftime. Hreniuk led the team with eight shots while Licari and junior midfielder Hannah DeMars (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) had six each. The Royals also had 12 corner kicks to two for Muhlenberg.
The Royals will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 24, when they open Landmark Conference play on the road against Moravian at 4 p.m. in Bethlehem, Pa.