WASHINGTON – The Catholic University of America women's soccer team saw its regular season come to a close after a 1-1 double overtime tie at University of Scranton on Saturday, Nov. 2 in Scranton, Pa.
With the tie, Catholic is officially out of the Landmark Conference Tournament, which begins the semifinal round on Wednesday. The Cardinals were battling for the fourth and final spot in the tournament against Goucher and Moravian. The Gophers and Greyhounds played to a 3-3 double overtime tie which opened the door for the Cardinals to nab the fourth-seed. Catholic would need to win in order to advance, however they were unable to get past Scranton, the No. 1 seed in the upcoming playoff.
The Cardinals fell behind early, as Samantha Russo finished a corner kick from Ellen Walker to go up 1-0 in the 10th minute of action.
As the teams headed into intermission, the Royals held a 6-to-2 advantage in shots, as well as a 5-to-0 advantage in corner kicks.
At the halftime break, CUA head coach J.P. Sousa adjusted the team's strategy as the Cardinals needed to generate more scoring opportunities.
With 63:00 on the clock, Alexis Garcia (Miami Beach, Fla./Miami Beach Senior) took a free kick and sent the ball deep into the box and connected with Kaylre Greaves (Ocean, N.J./Ocean Township) who scored off of a header for the equalizing goal. It was Greaves' team-leading eighth goal of the season, and Garcia's third assist on the year.
With time running out, both teams battled for a goal to put them ahead, but neither was able to find the back of the net for a second time. With a spot in the Landmark playoffs on the line, the Cardinals headed into the double overtime period looking to dethrone the top seed Royals.
As the Cardinals began the first overtime period, Kate Masson (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimach) ripped a shot past the Scranton goalkeeper but the Royals were saved by the crossbar that denied Masson a game-winning goal. In the first overtime, shots were equal at three apiece, while Scranton had one corner kick opportunity.
Lexi Halperin (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley) came up huge with under two minutes to play in the second overtime period, making a big save to preserve the tie. She had six saves for the game. Halperin and the defensive line had outstanding performances, limiting the Scranton offense to just one goal, well below their 2.4 goals per game average.
While Catholic falls short of the Landmark postseason, they must now wait to see if they receive a bid to the ECAC Tournament.
For more information on Catholic University women's soccer, please visit the official athletics website www.cuacardinals.com