|Teresa Hegarty||Steph Lowrey||Lauren Holden|
ELIZABETHTOWN - In her first career Landmark Conference playoff match, freshman Teresa Hegarty (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Merion Mercy Academy) scored the first and last goal of the evening for the third-seeded University of Scranton women's soccer team, as the Royals upset second-seeded Elizabethtown, 3-2, on Wednesday night.
With the win, the Royals (now 10-5-2 overall) advanced to their 10th straight Landmark Conference championship match on Saturday, where Scranton will travel to top-seeded Susquehanna in a rematch of the last two Landmark title bouts.
Elizabethtown's 2019 season was ended with the loss, as the Blue Jays finish the year 11-5-1 overall.
To start the match, the Royals came out and immediately attacked the E-Town defense, and before anyone could even get comfortable in their seats, Hegarty scored her first goal of the night 43 seconds into regulation to give Scranton a quick 1-0 lead.
Sophomore Callie Deola (Churchville, Pa./Council Rock South) was credited with an assist on the play, as the Royals came out and shocked the Blue Jays with the goal. Elizabethtown, however, roared back over the rest of the half and into the second half on the heels of senior star Lydia Lawson, who scored back-to-back goals to put the Blue Jays up, 2-1.
Down by a goal but with plenty of time left in regulation, the Royals went back to work on offense. Quickly, the Royals found the equalizer.
In the 51st minute, junior Steph Lowrey (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) found the back of the net on a chance from fellow junior Shae Guilfoyle (West Nyack, N.Y./Pearl River) to tie the game back up at 2-2. For Lowrey, it was her fifth goal of the season, while Guilfoyle posted her first assist of the season on the play.
With the momentum back in their favor, the Royals continued to attack and in the 56th minute Hegarty delivered the game-winning blow with a goal off a free chance in front of the net, as the freshman banged home a wide-open chance into the top right side of the net to make it a 3-2 match.
Still, Scranton had to hold the one-goal lead for 24 minutes to clinch the victory.
Elizabethtown's best chance of the final moments of regulation came in the 83rd minute, as Lawson got open on a Blue Jay corner and headed a ball toward goal. But, Scranton sophomore Lauren Holden (Nutley, N.J./Nutley) was in the right place at the right time, as she stopped the shot before it crossed to goal line to keep the Royals in front.
From there, E-Town had one last chance with two minutes left on another corner kick, but could not even get a shot off, as the Royals played keep away over the final few moments to sew up the one-score win.
Overall in the victory, Scranton dominated the scoresheet, as they outshot E-Town by a wide 16-7 margin, while holding a 9-3 edge on corner kicks. For Hegarty, the two-score night was the first of her career, as she has now scored four goals for the year.
Scranton now moves onto top-seeded Susquehanna for the 2019 Landmark Conference title match on Saturday at 1 p.m. The River Hawks eliminated fourth-seeded Catholic tonight on penalty kicks, 3-2, after playing a scoreless shutout for 110 minutes.
More on the 2019 Landmark Conference championship match will be posted later in the week at athletics.scranton.edu.