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The University of Scranton Athletics

THREE PEAT! Tantala's Heroics Lead Women's Soccer to Third Straight Landmark Title

© Photo by Timothy R. Dougherty / doubleeaglephotography.com
© Photo by Timothy R. Dougherty / doubleeaglephotography.com

SCRANTON, Pa. – Junior Emily Tantala (Langhorne, Pa./Neshaminy) scored the game-winner with just 0:13 left in regulation and The top seeded University of Scranton women's soccer team (16-2-1) captured a third straight Landmark Conference title with a 1-0 victory over the No. 3 seed Drew Rangers (11-6-2) in the conference championship match on Saturday afternoon at Weiss Field in Scranton.

This marks the Royals' third straight title, fifth in sixth seasons and the program's ninth Landmark championship overall.

Head coach Colleen Pivirotto's team is headed back to the NCAA Tournament for a sixth straight year and has won a first round game in each of the last four seasons.

In the waning seconds of regulation, senior Teresa Hegarty (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Merion Mercy Academy) fought hard to keep the play alive around a trio of Drew defenders and fed an open Tantala who sent a shot into the upper left corner of the net to seal the victory.

The goal was Tantala's second of the year with both having been game-winners.

Drew nearly took an early lead in the seventh minute, but Royals' sophomore goalie Nicole Olson (Stoughton, Mass./Ursuline Academy) denied Alexa Krause to keep the game scoreless. Just a few minutes later, junior Mary Haggerty (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) saw her shot saved and the two teams continued to battle through a scoreless first half. Olson once again turned away Krause's attempt from point blank range with a save in the 26th minute and things remained scoreless headed into halftime.

Scranton held a 5-3 shot advantage through the opening 45 minutes.

As the second half began, the Royals mounted the pressure offensively and nearly took the lead in the 63rd minute, but Rangers' goalie Amina Cirkiel recorded consecutive saves on Tantala and fellow junior Niamh Healy (Orangeburg, N.Y./Tappan Zee). Cirkiel later added three more saves in a five minute plus span and the game was still deadlocked at zero as the clock ticked under 15 minutes to play. Scranton continued to threaten and Healy's shot with 1:13 left was denied by Cirkiel. Things looked to be headed to overtime before Tantala struck for the game-winner in the final seconds.

The Royals had a 17-3 shot advantage for the game as the defense remained strong en route to a 14th shutout. The hosts also had 10 corner kicks in the second half and 12 for the game.

Olson tallied two saves in the victory, while Cirkiel recorded six saves for the Rangers in 45 minutes of action.

The 2022 NCAA Division III Field of 64 will be announced in a live selection show on Monday afternoon on NCAA.com with air time slated for 2 p.m.

--ROYALS--