|Steph Lowrey||Rebecca Russo||Juliana Corradi|
SELINSGROVE - After a scoreless first half, the third-seeded University of Scranton women's soccer team absolutely dominated the second, scoring three unanswered goals to blank top-seeded Susquehanna, 3-0, in the 2019 Landmark Conference championship match at Sassafrass Field.
With the victory, Scranton (11-5-3) captured their seventh Landmark Conference title all-time and their third crown in the last four seasons. It is also the Royals' 23rd total conference title all-time, as Scranton earned the Landmark Conference's automatic bid into the 2019 NCAA Championship with the victory.
Susquehanna dropped to 14-4-2 overall with the defeat.
To start the game, both team's defenses made their presence felt in the first 45 minutes of play, as only five combined shots were taken in the period by the squads (Scranton three shots, Susquehanna two). Only one shot was on goal, as sophomore Amanda Steinberg (Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Sachem North) made a save on the chance for the River Hawks.
But, in the second half, Scranton began to take control early.
First, in the 52nd minute, sophomore Steph Lowrey (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) scored the biggest goal of her career to crack the scoreless tie, as her score off a pass from fellow sophomore Callie Deola (Churchville, Pa./Council Rock North) gave the Royals the lead at 1-0. For Lowrey, it was her sixth goal of the year.
Over the next nine minutes, the Royals continued to increase the pressure, and in the 61st minute, Susquehanna made a critical mistake, committing a foul in the box on a Royals attack.
With a penalty kick chance, senior Rebecca Russo (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) buried the chance, putting Scranton up 2-0 with 29 minutes left in regulation.
With the River Hawks on their heels, the Royals put Susquehanna away for the day in the 67th minute, as junior Juliana Corradi (Valhalla, N.Y./Valhalla) picked the right time to score her first goal of the 2019 season, as her tally off another assist by Deola put Scranton up for good at 3-0.
From there, a suffocating Royals defense finished off the game, as they remarkably held Susquehanna not only scoreless over the final 45 minutes but to not a single shot in the entire frame. The unit collected their eighth shutout of the year in the win, as Scranton held Susquehanna to two shots all afternoon.
Overall, the Royals outshot the River Hawks, 8-2, and held a 7-1 edge on corner kicks. Lowrey, meanwhile, was named the Most Valuable Player of the Landmark Conference Championship, as well.
The Royals will now await to see who and where they will play in the 2019 NCAA Division III Championship, which begins at on-campus sites across the country on Friday. Fans are reminded to stay with athletics.scranton.edu for more information as it becomes availble.