All season long, The University of Scranton women's soccer team has embraced the motto of "title chasing." It's been the team's rallying cry from day one as part of postgame interviews and with #TitleChasing on every social media post.
On Saturday, the Royals have the opportunity to finally chase down that Landmark Conference title they have so dearly sought.
Top-seeded Scranton (16-1-1) will host second-seeded Moravian (10-6-1, 5-2-0) in the championship match at 1 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Field. Admission is free for students, faculty and staff from all Landmark Conference institutions with school ID. Admission to the match is free for all students, faculty and staff with Royal Card. Admission for all others is $5 for adults (18-61), $3 for students (11-17) and seniors (62 and over), and free for children 10 and younger when accompanied by an adult. Gates will open at noon.
Scranton reached the title game with a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory against Susquehanna in a semifinal match on Tuesday night at Fitzpatrick Field. Sophomore forward Jamie Hreniuk (West Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) scored on a header in the 95th on a corner kick by senior midfielder Kelly Egan (Essex Fells, N.J./West Essex).
Moravian also needed extra time to advance, knocking off Catholic, 4-3 in double OT, on Tuesday night. Senior forward Valentina Margiotiello (Iselin, N.J./The Wardlaw-Hartridge School) scored in the 104th minute to win. Sophomore forward Gabby Stelzmiller (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central) had a hat trick in regulation, including the match-tying goal in the 87th minute.
In the regular season meeting between Scranton and Moravian, the Royals scored a 3-0 victory in Bethlehem, Pa. on Sept. 24. Hreniuk, junior midfielder Hannah DeMars (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) and sophomore midfielder Brittany Uricchio (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) each scored goals, and sophomore midfielder Taylor Stevens (Yardley, Pa./Villa Joseph Marie) had a pair of assists.
Since that game, Scranton has gone a perfect 10-0-0 and outscored its opponents 33-3. Moravian has been nearly as good, going 7-2-0 and outscoring its opponents 16-8.
The winner of Saturday's championship will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The field will be announced Monday at 1:30 p.m.
Live stats and live video for Saturday's championship match are available at http://athletics.scranton.edu/sports/wsoc/2016-17/schedule.