WASHINGTON – CUA will play for its sixth consecutive Landmark Conference championship after the Cardinals defeated Scranton, 19-12 on Wednesday in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
The Cardinals outshot the Royals 36-33 on the night, and CUA scooped up 35 groundballs with Scranton picking up 28. Caroline Scalamandre won five draw controls for CUA and caused three turnovers.
Deanna Giorno scored the first goal of the game for the Royals, but the Cardinals netted five goals including three goals by Ciletti.
Giorno scored Scranton's second goal of the night with 14:16 remaining in the half.
For the next six minutes CUA scored four goals to increase the Cardinals' lead 9-2 starting with Downs' first goal of the night.
The Royals cut the lead in half with three minutes on the clock with a goal by Jilliana DePaolera, but Lindsay Brophy scored at the 1:40 mark pushed the lead back to six.
One minute into the second half, Caroline DiBartolomeo scored the first goal of the half for the Cardinals to increase their lead, 12-6.
Giorno and Shannon Ginty scored back-to-back goals for the Royals, but Nicole Laitner responded with two goals for the Cardinals and DiBartolomeo added another.
Erin Allen answered for the visitors to put Scranton within seven with 16 minutes remaining.
CUA scored two more times in the final minutes of the game to capture the win and their sixth straight championship appearance, 19-12.
Pehnke sent back 16 shots in 60 minutes of action for CUA and Kathleen Smart saved nine for the Royals.
The Cardinals will travel to Pennsylvania on Saturday to battle Susquehanna in the Landmark Conference championship. The game is slated for 2 p.m.