The University of Scranton women's soccer team is no stranger to playing for a Landmark Conference championship, having reached the title game eight times previously, including each of the past seven seasons. So when the Royals host Susquehanna in Saturday's championship at Fitzpatrick Field, the Royals will know what it takes to get the job done.
Top-seeded Scranton (13-3-2) will be seeking its second straight and sixth Landmark crown and 28th conference title overall when it hosts the fourth-seeded River Hawks (14-3-2) at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, which begins next week.
The Royals reached the title game with a dominant 3-0 victory over fourth-seeded Elizabethtown on Wednesday afternoon at Fitzpatrick Field. Junior Erica Licari (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown East) started the scoring in the 16th minute and senior Kelly Pompey (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Prep) and freshman Corinne McDonald (Chalfont, Pa./Central Bucks South) added second-half goals.
Susquehanna advanced to the championship in thrilling fashion, tying third-seeded Catholic, 0-0, through two overtimes, then advancing on penalty kicks, 4-2. The River Hawks trailed, 2-1, after two rounds, but converted their final three tries while Catholic was unsuccessful on all three.
In the regular season meeting, Scranton posted a 3-0 victory at Fitzpatrick Field on Saturday, Oct. 7. Junior midfielder Taylor Stevens (Yardley, Pa./Villa Joseph Marie) had a goal and an assist, and Pompey and junior forward Jamie Hreniuk (West Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) added goals. Junior Colleen Berry (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) made five saves in what was one of her 11 shutouts this season.
Hreniuk leads the Royals with 11 goals and one assist for 22 points. Licari has tallied six goals and four assists for 16 points, while Pompey has six goals. Berry has played all but 4:40 in goal this season, posting those 11 shutouts and a 0.69 goals-against average with a .870 save percentage.
Susquehanna, which is seeking its first Landmark Conference crown, is led by senior forward Alyssa Bolger, who has 10 goals and one assist for 21 points. Junior forward Emily Sullivan adds six goals and four assist for 16 points, and the senior goalkeeping duo of Julia Tolin and Jennifer Thorsheim has combined for 11 shutouts and a 0.55 goals-against average.
Admission to the championship 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. Gates open at noon.
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/20171104_kgct.xml.