SCRANTON - Picking the perfect time to score her first goal of the year, senior Rebecca Russo (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) tallied the game-winner early in the double-overtime period, lifting the women's soccer team to a thrilling 1-0 win over Catholic on Saturday at Weiss Field.
With the win, Scranton moved to 3-2-2 overall for the year and 1-0 in the Landmark Conference. Catholic fell to 4-4-2 and 0-1 in the Landmark with the tough defeat.
From the start, it was about as even of a match between the two teams, as the opening frame saw Scranton take five shots (three of which were saved) and Catholic take a pair of shots (one of which was saved) in a scoreless and defensive-minded first 45 minutes.
But, in the second half, play opened up, as both teams had numerous opportunities to score.
In the period, Scranton took six shots, only to have three opportunities saved at the net. But, Catholic was the team that had possibly the best chance of all in regulation coming very late in the period. In the sequence, a ball was bounced off the crossbar, setting up three straight on goal shots for the Cardinals, each of which was stopped by sophomore goalie Amanda Steinberg (Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Sachem North) to keep the match scoreless.
After the wild sequence, regulation time ran out and the match headed into overtime still scoreless. In overtime for the fourth time on the year, Scranton took a pair of shots in the first OT, with their lone strike on net saved.
Still scoreless, the match headed into a second overtime, and right away, Scranton put Catholic away after being awarded a corner kick.
On the play, junior Mazie Stiles (Nyack, N.Y./Albertus Magnus) sent in a perfect ball toward a streaking Russo, who's first shot of the sequence bounced off a teammate. She was able to collect the ball and then send one right past Catholic goalie to win the Royals the game.
The goal was the sixth of Russo's career at Scranton and her first game-winner since her sophomore season of 2017.
Overall, Scranton outshot Catholic by a slim, 15-14 margin, while the Royals also had a 5-3 edge on corner kicks. In net, Steinberg continued her strong sophomore season, making eight saves, seven of which came in the second half that kept the Cardinals off the board and sent the game into overtime.
The shutout win for Steinberg was her first of the year, as the previous two shutouts she recorded came in 0-0 double-overtime draws earlier in the season.
The University of Scranton women's soccer team returns to action on Wednesday, as they open up a three-game road trip at Penn State Harrisburg. Action gets underway at 7 p.m.