The offensive fireworks erupted after halftime when The University of Scranton women's soccer team hosted Swarthmore on Wednesday night at rainy Fitzpatrick Field. Unfortunately, the Royals came out on the short end after nearly 105 minutes of action.
Swarthmore scored with 4:27 remaining in double overtime to hand the Royals a 3-2 defeat, their first of the season. The Garnet (3-0-0) were the only team to beat Scranton last season, as the Royals finished 17-1-2.
The Royals would be happy if Wednesday's loss turned out to be their only defeat of the season, but they still weren't pleased with the result after strong play in the second half. Scranton (2-1-0) held 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but Swarthmore answered both times to forced overtime.
Junior forward Jamie Hreniuk (West Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) snapped a scoreless tie and put Scranton ahead with a header in the 65th minute. The goal, which was her third in as many games, came off a corner kick by junior midfielder Taylor Stevens (Yardley, Pa./Villa Maria Academy).
Swarthmore tied the score in the 72nd minute, but the Royals answered quickly when freshman forward Corinne McDonald (Chalfont, Pa./Central Bucks South) slipped a shot inside the right post for a 2-1 lead in the 75th minute.
But, the Garnet answered again with the tying goal in the 80th minute, which eventually led to overtime. In the second period, both teams had early chances before Swarthmore drew a corner kick with five minutes to play. The Garnet calmly played the ball in short, and a shot eventually slipped through the Scranton defense for the game-winning goal.
Scranton received a standout effort in goal from junior Colleen Berry (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood). She suffered her first career loss, but played one of the best games in net by a Scranton keeper in recent memory. Berry finished the night with 13 saves, including a handful of diving stops. The best may have come in the 104th minute, when she dove to her left and barely tipped a shot wide. She also made a tremendous first-half save when a shot careened off a defender and past her, but she recovered to tip the shot wide right before it could roll across the goal line.
Swarthmore finished the night with a commanding 33-11 advantage in shots, including 11-1 in the first half. The Garnet also held the edge in corner kicks, 8-5. Hreniuk finished with a game-high three shots for the Royals.
Scranton will be back in action on Saturday at 1 p.m. when the Royals host Western Connecticut State at Fitzpatrick Field.