No. 19 Cardinals drop a heartbreaker to No. 7 CNU in shootout

WASHINGTON – In a battle of top-20 teams, No. 19 CUA went toe-to-toe with No. 7 Christopher Newport on Wednesday evening, but after two overtimes and a penalty shootout, the Captains were able to outlast the Cardinals 3-2.  CNU won the shootout 2-1 with Marlene Lichty netting the eventual game-winner.

Following two scoreless overtime periods, the teams headed for a shootout.  The first four shooters, two from each team, missed, until Caitlin Cahill got the Captains on the board to put the visitors in front 1-0.

After a third Cardinals miss, Lichty netted what would turn out to be the game-winner, but not before CUA made things interesting.

Catherine Mirsky scored for the Cards to bring the home team within 2-1, and after Megan Comunale stopped Belle Tunstall, CUA had one more shot to tie things up.

Rebecca Lukaszczyk stepped up next for CUA and after sliding past the Captains goalie, she hit the post, ending the game.

CUA finished the night with a 26-22 advantage in shots, and a 10-8 advantage in penalty corners.

Comunale stopped nine shots for the Cardinals, while Jamie Dowling sent back seven shots for the visitors.

After the game was delayed at the start, Christopher Newport took an early lead when Allie Hackbarth scored in the sixth minute to give the Captains a 1-0 lead.

Unfazed, CUA regrouped and looked for the equalizer.  The Cardinals generated plenty of chances on the offensive end, including back-to-back shots by Colleen Harwood and Katie Bertrand near the 16-minute mark, that were both saved.

Lukaszczyk's shot at the 22-minute mark was blocked, while CNU's attempt by Lindsay Hendricks two minutes later was stopped by Comunale.

The Cardinals were able to get on the board in the 34th minute when Hayley Wright took a feed from Maura Campbell and scored her 11th goal of the season to tie things at one. 

The play started with a penalty corner and sent the game into halftime with the score knotted up at 1-1.

CUA finished the first 35 minutes with a 10-6 advantage in shots, while both teams were awarded four penalty corners.

Just seven minutes into the second half, Wright fed Taylor Elliott for another Cardinals goal, and the home team took its first lead of the night, 2-1.

Near the 48-minute mark, the Captains got off three consecutive shots, but one was blocked, Comunale stopped another, and the third was wide, keeping CUA in the lead.

With less than 10 minutes remaining, CNU was awarded a penalty corner, and the Captains took advantage, pulling even on Hendricks' goal to make it 2-2.

Neither team had many chances for the remainder of regulation, with CNU taking two shots, and CUA just one.

Early in the first overtime session, CUA was awarded a penalty corner, which turned into a pair of shots for the Cards, but Colleen Harwood's was blocked, and Wright's went wide.

One minute later, Wright got off another shot, but Dowling was there for the save.

Down the other end, Christopher Newport was awarded a penalty corner, but CUA's defense blocked Hendricks' shot.

The Cardinals had two more shots in the final seconds of the first OT, but Lukaszczyk's shot was saved and Harwood's was blocked, sending the teams to a second 15-minute session.

In the second OT, CUA was again awarded an early penalty corner, which led to a shot from Harwood, which went wide.

A shot by CNU's Lichty at the 89:01 mark also went wide, as did Kim Hermann's for CUA four minutes later.

The final shot of OT came from CNU's Marcy Hoath at the 92:28 mark, but Comunale made the save, sending the teams into the shootout.

On Saturday, CUA travels to Pennsylvania to face the Scranton Royals in a game with huge Landmark Conference Tournament implications.  Start time is set for 1 p.m.

The Cardinals enter the contest with a conference record of 4-0, tied atop the standings with Drew, while Scranton checks in at 3-1.

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