|Jamie Hreniuk||Kelly Egan|
Overtime in the Landmark Conference semifinals is becoming a routine occurrence for The University of Scranton women's soccer team. Fortunately, so is winning.
Sophomore forward Jamie Hreniuk (West Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) scored on a header midway through overtime to give the Royals a 1-0 victory over Susquehanna in their semifinal match at Fitzpatrick Field on Tuesday night. The win puts Scranton in the Landmark Conference championship for the seventh consecutive season and eighth time in the conference's 10-year history.
The top-seeded Royals (16-1-1) will host second-seeded Moravian (10-6-1), which defeated third-seeded Catholic, 4-3, in overtime on Tuesday night. Saturday's championship match will begin at 1 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Field.
The win was the third straight overtime victory in a Landmark Conference semifinal for the Royals. In 2014, they defeated Elizabethtown, 2-1 in overtime. Last season, they knocked off Elizabethtown, 1-0 in double overtime at Fitzpatrick Field in a game that was voted the top moment in Landmark Conference women's soccer history.
Hreniuk's goal on Tuesday night was one to remember, as well. Scranton put pressure on Susquehanna defense in overtime and eventually drew a corner kick. Senior midfielder Kelly Egan (Essex Fells, N.J./West Essex) sent the corner kick from the left side perfectly to the front of the goal, and Hreniuk outfought a pair of River Hawks defenders to get a head on it and set off a joyous celebration by the Royals.
After Susquehanna (12-6-0) held a 5-2 edge in shots in the first half, including a pair of solid scoring chances, Scranton seemed to take control after halftime. The Royals held a 7-1 edge in shots in the second half and Hreniuk's game-winner was the only shot of overtime. That gave the Royals a 10-6 edge in shots for the match. They also had four corner kicks to just one for Susquehanna.
Hreniuk's goal was her 12th of the season and fifth game-winner, both of which lead the team. Egan picked up her seventh assist of the season and 24th of her career, which ranks sixth in program history.
Senior goalkeeper Krissy Welsh (Swarthmore, Pa./Strath Haven) was mostly untested on the night, making one save for her eighth shutout of the season and 24th of her career, one shy of tying for third in program history. The backline of seniors Erin Casey (Hatfield, Pa./Gwynedd Mercy Academy) and Carolyn Warner (Morris Plains, N.J./Parsippany Hills), junior Katie Cullen (Malverne, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy) and freshman Becca Russo (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) had a strong game, slowing Susquehanna's strong counterattack most of the night.
Scranton will be seeking its fifth Landmark Conference championship and 21st conference championship overall in Saturday's title match.