The University of Scranton women's soccer team's dominance over the past two months has paid off in a big way.
The Royals clinched the top seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference playoffs thanks to a 6-0 rout over Goucher on Senior Day at Fitzpatrick Field on a rainy, windy and chilly Saturday afternoon.
Scranton (14-1-1, 6-0-0 Landmark) has now won 12 straight overall and four straight by way of shutout. The 12-match winning streak is the longest for the Royals since they won 13 straight in 2013. More importantly, it means the Landmark Conference championship will go through Fitzpatrick Field when the postseason begins in a little more than a week.
The Royals wasted no time taking control against Goucher (6-8-1, 1-4-1 Landmark) scoring twice in the opening 10 minutes and four times before halftime. Junior Hannah DeMars (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) scored in the sixth minute on a feed from sophomore midfielder Taylor Stevens (Yardley, Pa./Villa Joseph Marie), and Stevens doubled the lead in the eighth minute when her free kick found its way through the Gophers' defense.
Senior defender Carolyn Warner (Morris Plains, N.J./Parsippany Hills) added to the lead in the 22nd minute on a perfect header off a corner kick by senior midfielder Kelly Egan (Essex Fells, N.J./West Essex). DeMars added her second goal of the match in the 30th minute when she headed home a cross from junior midfielder Kelly Pompey (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Prep).
In the second half, sophomore forward Jamie Hreniuk (West Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) scored her 11th goal of the season on a feed from senior forward Kelsey Bacon (Macungie, Pa./Emmaus) in the 59th minute. Sophomore midfielder Annelise DePaulo (Roseto, Pa./Moravian Academy) finished the scoring in the 71st minute when she scored her first goal of the season on an unassisted blast from 23 yards out.
Hreniuk added to her team lead in goals (11) and points (25). DeMars and Warner are now tied for second on the team with seven goals each while Stevens has a team-leading eight assists to go with her three goals. Egan is second in assists with six while adding four goals. Pompey picked up her fourth assist while Bacon now has three.
The defense was up to its usual tricks, posting its 12th shutout of the season, tied for sixth most in a single season in school history. The Royals held Goucher to just seven shots, six of which came in the second half, while taking 20 of their own. Scranton also had a 7-2 edge in corner kicks. Senior goalkeepers Krissy Welsh (Swarthmore, Pa./Strath Haven) and Danielle Maurice (Farmingdale, N.Y./St. Anthony's) each played a half in net and each made one save.
Prior to kickoff, the Royals honored their eight seniors for their contributions to the program during their careers. Those eight seniors are Warner, Egan, Bacon, Welsh, Maurice, defender Erin Casey (Hatfield, Pa./Gwynedd Mercy Academy), defender Jessica DePinho (Morganville, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) and midfielder Christina Akalski (Long Beach, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial).
Scranton, which has qualified for the Landmark Conference playoffs in all 10 years of the conference's existence, now has a week to prepare for its regular season finale on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Catholic at 1 p.m.