CUA blanks Moravian 7-0 on Senior Day

WASHINGTON – The Cardinals closed out their regular season in style on Saturday as CUA rolled past Moravian 7-0 on Senior Day inside Cardinal Stadium.  No. 14 CUA scored twice in the first seven minutes and never looked back as it upped its record to 13-3.

The Cardinals completely dominated action on Saturday, outshooting the Greyhounds 19-2, and receiving six penalty corners to Moravian's two.  Megan Communale got the start in goal and stopped two shots for the Cardinals before giving way to Alison Dillard, who played the final 18 minutes.

Catherine Gottlieb started in goal for the Greyhounds and sent back three shots, before Andrea Eck came on in relief and registered four saves.

"We played hard, we had a lot of contributors and I think this showed just how intense and how hard we work at practice because everyone had a hand in this win today," CUA's head coach Gia Cillizza said afterwards.  "This was the perfect ending for a terrific senior class.  We were connecting on passes, we were following shots extremely well, which is something we've been working on, and overall it was a lot of fun to see so many different people step up."

The Cardinals were awarded a penalty corner just 2:33 into the game.  Caroline Reilly worked her way for a shot off the corner, but the shot was stopped by Gottlieb.  Three minutes later Mary Swarthout got CUA on the board with her 13th score of the season.  Meredith Chandler set Swarthout up with a nice pass right in front of the cage.

At the 7:15 mark Swarthout was at it again, this time on a feed from Tracey Scanlon as CUA took a 2-0 lead.

The shots kept coming for the Cardinals as Kendall Petschauer got one off at the 8:21 mark, but it was sent back by Moravian's keeper. 

With just about 16 minutes gone, Swarthout returned the favor to Chandler as she assisted on a score to put the Cardinals on top 3-0.  The goal was Chandler's 10th of the season.

That proved to be CUA's final goal of the opening half as it took its comfortable cushion into halftime.

CUA registered the first three shots of the second half, capped off by Isabella DeLiso's goal at the 41:21 mark to give the home team a four-goal advantage.  Tory Gagliardi assisted on what was DeLiso's first score of the season. 

The Cardinals continued to keep the pressure on, generating shot after shot, and at the 57:31 mark DeLiso struck again, this time off a gorgeous crossing pass by Abby Banholzer.  That made it a 5-0 game.

Two minutes later Gagliardi scored her sixth goal of the season, and CUA's sixth of the day.  Kathryn Morris assisted on the score. 

With under a minute to play Banholzer then got into the scoring act as she took a pass from Gagliardi and knocked it into the back of the cage for a 7-0 lead.  

The win is CUA's eighth shutout of the season.

"I thought Abby (Banholzer) and Tory (Gagliardi) played very well in the front for us," Cillizza said.  "Ellie Cassilly was strong in the midfield, Mary (Swarthout) played well and Meg (Communale) had a terrific save, so it was a group effort."

CUA will now move onto the Landmark Conference Tournament where the third-seeded Cardinals will travel to take on No. 2 Susquehanna on Wednesday afternoon at a time to be determined.  Susquehanna dealt CUA is't first loss this season, a tough 4-3 setback in overtime back in September.

"We just need to keep doing what we've been doing," Cillizza said.  "We need to play a complete game and put forth our best effort.  We need to execute on corners and really play together and if we do that, we're going to give ourselves a great shot."

She added, "We're expecting a tough matchup.  Susquehanna is a good team and we know it's going to be a hard-fought game.  We just need to keep our focus on making sure the intensity stays up and that we execute well." 

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