SCRANTON, Pa. – Sophomore Emily Bannon (Middletown, N.Y./Minisink Valley) scored the eventual game-winner in the 95th minute in the first overtime period and The top seeded University of Scranton women's soccer team (15-2-1) held on for a 1-0 victory over the No. 4 seed Catholic University Cardinals (3-10-5) in the Landmark Conference semifinals on Tuesday night at Weiss Field in Scranton.
The Royals advance to Saturday's Landmark title game versus No. 3 Drew at Weiss Field with start time yet to be determined. The Rangers advanced with a 1-0 overtime victory as Alexa Krause scored the game winner in the 105th minute.
Bannon was able to tap one home in front of goal after an impressive pass from the corner by senior Teresa Hegarty (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Merion Mercy Academy) found its way to the sophomore and Catholic goalie Ava Rieger was caught out of position. Prior to the pass, Hegarty did well to beat a pair of Cardinal defenders with some nifty footwork.
The goal was Bannon's fifth of the season, while Hegarty registered her team-leading sixth assist.
New overtime rules were implemented in NCAA soccer this year as teams must now play through both 10 minute overtime periods as opposed to the previous golden goal format.
The Royals threatened from the get-go in this one as Rieger made a pair of saves in the fourth minute on juniors Mary Haggerty (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) and Claire Mulholland (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee). On the other side, Scranton's sophomore goalie Nicole Olson (Stoughton, Mass./Ursuline Academy) made a pair of saves in the 22nd and 26th minutes to keep the game scoreless for the time being. In the 31st minute, Scranton nearly took the lead in a sequence where Rieger turned away an initial shot by junior Niamh Healy (Orangeburg, N.Y./Tappan Zee), Haggerty saw a shot cleared off the goal line by a Cardinals defender and the goalie added a second save on Healy.
Scranton held a 13-4 shot advantage, but things remained scoreless through the opening 45 minutes.
In the first 15 plus minutes of the second half, Rieger tallied three more saves and Olson added a save of her own on Catholic's Jordan Siok in the 58th minute. Head coach Colleen Pivirotto's team continued to mount the pressure offensively, but it was the Cardinals that nearly took the lead in the 81st minute as Sara Placide's header trickled just wide of the target. From there, Hegarty saw her shot ring off the crossbar in the 86th minute and the two teams headed for overtime.
In the first overtime period, Bannon provided the afore-mentioned heroics in the 95th minute and the Royals' defense put forth a strong effort to hold Catholic without a shot over the final 20 minutes of the match to seal a berth in Saturday's title game.
The Royals held a 29-6 shot advantage in the contest led by nine from Healy and four from Hegarty.
Olson recorded three saves to notch her eighth shutout of the season, while Rieger made 15 saves in the setback for Catholic.
A full preview of this weekend's Landmark Championship game will be posted on Friday at athletics.scranton.edu.