The University of Scranton and Elizabethtown College women's soccer teams are no strangers in the postseason, having met in the Landmark Conference semifinals in both 2014 and 2015. On Wednesday afternoon, they'll meet for the third time in four seasons.
Scranton (12-3-2, 7-0-0 Landmark) enters the Landmark Conference as the top seed and will host the fourth-seeded Blue Jays (9-6-1, 4-3-0) on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Field. The Royals are the defending Landmark Conference champions and have won five Landmark titles and 27 conference titles overall. Elizabethtown is in search of its first Landmark title and fourth conference title overall.
The Royals are hoping history repeats itself. They knocked off Elizabethtown in the 2014 semifinal, 2-1 in overtime on the road, and eliminated the Blue Jays in 2015 with a 1-0 victory, also in overtime. That 2015 victory was named the top moment in Landmark Conference women's soccer history last year as part of the conference's celebration of its 10-year anniversary.
The regular season matchup on Sept. 30 at Elizabethtown featured plenty of fireworks, all in the final 22 minutes. After the game was scoreless well into the second half, Scranton scored a pair of goals in the 69th and 71st minutes to take control. The Royals added an insurance goal in the 82nd minute before Elizabethtown avoided the shutout with a goal 16 seconds before the final horn in what would be a 3-1 Scranton victory.
Scranton is led by junior forward Jamie Hreniuk (West Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell), who led the team in goals (11) and points (23). She had a goal and an assist in that win over Elizabethtown earlier this season. Junior midfielder Erica Licari (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown East) has five goals and four assists for 14 points, and senior forward Kelly Pompey (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Prep) also had five goals. Junior goalkeeper Colleen Berry (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) has had a strong season in her first year as the starter in goal, posting 10 shutouts and a 0.73 goals-against average.
Elizabethtown boasts the conference's leading goal scorer in sophomore forward Lydia Lawson (Mountain Top, Pa./Holy Redeemer), who had 15 goals and one assist for 31 points. Freshman midfielder Janelle Barna (Slatington, Pa./Parkland) is the only other Blue Jay with more than one goal, having scored four goals with two assists. Senior goalkeeper Hailey Parks (Brodheadsville, Pa./Pleasant Valley) has five shutouts and a 1.14 goals-against average.
Admission to the semifinal match is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors (62 and older) and non-Landmark Conference students. Children ages 10 and under are admitted free of charge, as are all Landmark Conference students, faculty and staff with their school ID.
For live video of the match, visit https://portal.stretchinternet.com/scranton/. Live stats are available at http://athletics.scranton.edu/sports/wsoc/2017-18/boxscores/20171101_vux6.xml.
The winner of Wednesday's semifinal will advance to the championship on Saturday, Nov. 4, at the home site of the highest remaining seed. Second-seeded Susquehanna (14-3-1, 6-1-0) hosts third-seeded Catholic (10-7-0, 4-3-0) at 7 p.m. in Wednesday's other semifinal.