NEWPORT NEWS – On their fifth penalty corner of the NCAA event, Maura Campbell etched her name and her No. 17 Catholic Cardinals' name in the history books with a 1-0 second round victory over the No. 19 and 2012 Final Four DePauw Tigers at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va., on Saturday.
Both teams remained scoreless after the game's 70 minutes of regulation play, sending the contest into overtime.
"We came out sluggish in the first half," said head coach Gia Cillizza. "Toward the end of the first half we started to look a little more like ourselves. The second half was our game, we kept it on their side of the fifty most of the half. We kept attacking and stayed composed, feeling confident that eventually we'd get one in."
In under two minutes of the overtime period, Catholic was awarded a penalty corner. Taylor Elliott, who tallied the assist, inserted the ball to Campbell who whacked the ball into the back of the goal. Campbell's goal was the second consecutive game-winning goal of the team's NCAA Championship Tournament play.
"We have had such strong team performances this year and Maura has become the quarterback of this team," said Cillizza. " With each passing day she steps deeper into her full potential."
CUA advances to the program's first-ever NCAA Elite Eight appearance against No. 4 Christopher Newport on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m.
"This level of progress is years in the making," said Cillizza. "This is a great group of women. They are composed and mentally strong. They learn from the previous experience and work to make the adjustments. They care so much."
Catholic faced Christopher Newport earlier in the season with a 3-2 loss coming in the last 67 seconds of play in Newport News, Va., on Wednesday, Oct. 2. CUA led 2-1 at the half and then allowed CNU to score two unanswered goals in the second half.
"We are excited about tomorrow," said Cillizza. "What a great opportunity for our players and program to play in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament. We are looking to bring a winning combination of our talent, tactics and heart."