Champions! CUA claims first Landmark Conference crown
WASHINGTON – For the first time in school history, the CUA field hockey team is conference champions after the Cardinals rolled past Drew 5-1 in the Landmark Conference title game on Saturday evening. CUA scored three first half goals and added two more in the second to earn its first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament.
CUA controlled this one right from the start, taking the first five shots of the game, including one from Colleen Harwood that found the back of the cage for a 1-0 lead.
Angela Terracciano took Drew's first shot of the night at the 7:08 mark, but Megan Comunale made the save for CUA to keep it a 1-0 game.
At the 19:38 mark Mary Swarthout put the Cardinals in front 2-0 with her tenth goal of the season. Rebecca Lukaszczyk assisted on the score.
Less than three minutes later Tracey Scanlon made it a three-goal advantage for CUA when she scored her tenth goal of the season.
The Cardinals took their commanding 3-0 lead into halftime after outshooting Drew 8-3 in the opening 35 minutes.
Early in the second, CUA was awarded back-to-back penalty corners and following the second one, Maura Campbell and Scanlon got off shots, but Lauren Fasano was there to make both saves.
The shots kept coming for CUA and at the 44:53 mark Katie Bertrand put the home team in front by four when she scored off an assist by Harwood.
Swarthout's second goal of the night at the 48:48 mark put the Cardinals in front by five and from there it was only a matter of time before the celebration would begin for CUA.
Drew was able to get on the board in the 57th minute when Melissa Boyd scored, but by that point, it was too-little, too-late for the Rangers.
CUA finished the game with a 20-6 advantage in shots, including a 12-3 lead in the second half. The Cardinals were also awarded 12 of the game's 14 penalty corners. Comunale stopped two shots in goal for CUA, while Alison Dillard played the final 14 minutes and stopped one.
Christiana Carlini stopped one shot for Drew before giving way to Fasano who sent back five.
At 16-1, CUA is now just one win away from tying the program record for the most victories in a single season. The Cardinals, who have not lost since way back on September 17, have won their last 12 contests, and they have yet to lost at home this season (10-0).
CUA will now wait to see where it is sent for the NCAA Tournament. The selection announcement will take place on Monday.
Senior captain Tracey Scanlon and Head Coach Gia Cillizza share their thoughts on the Cardinals' championship below.