Landmark Prepares for Championship Saturday

Landmark Prepares for Championship Saturday

The championship identity pictured was created by Skye Design Studios, a brand identity and design firm located in the greater New York City area (www.sdsbranding.com).

Less than three months ago, student-athletes were returning to campuses to begin practicing for the 2013 season. Months of hard work will come to a head on Saturday when four more Landmark Champions will be named.

Women’s Soccer

The first championship will feature the University of Scranton and Drew University women’s soccer teams. Scranton earned the right to host as the top seed in the tournament. The Royals boast an unbeaten streak of 16 straight matches after a pair of season-opening losses. Scranton has not lost in its last 30 matches against a Landmark Conference opponent, including playoffs, going 26-0-4 during that span. They have not lost a regular season Landmark Conference match since a 2-0 loss at Drew on Oct. 10, 2009, and their last loss to a Landmark opponent came later that season when they fell to Catholic, 1-0, in a semifinal playoff match.

The Royals hosted fourth-seeded Moravian on Wednesday and earned the 1-0 win to advance to their fifth Landmark Championship game, fourth straight. Scranton’s Kelly Egan scored the game’s only goal in the seventh minute of play to secure the championship berth.

Drew is seeking its first conference championship since 1997. The Rangers earned the No. 3 seed in the Landmark tournament and knocked off No. 2 Juniata with a 3-2 win in overtime on Wednesday. The win marked the 16th of the season for Drew, one shy of tying the school record of 17 which was set in both 1996 and 1997.

The Rangers will have the opportunity to compete in their second Landmark title game and first since Drew lost to Scranton in the 2010 championship game. Six of the two teams’ seniors competed in that game as freshmen. Scranton’s Samantha Russo scored the game-winning goal.

Scranton holds the 6-1-1 advantage against Drew in Landmark history including a 4-2 win at Drew last month. Scranton struck first with two goals in the first 15 minutes, but the Rangers responded minutes later. Liz Loiodice scored two goals less than a minute apart to tie the game in the 18th minute. The Royals scored the go-ahead goal as the clock expired in the first half and added an insurance goal in the 68th minute to cap off the win.

No. 3 Drew at No. 1 Scranton 1:00 p.m. Live Stats Video


Volleyball

Not long after the women’s soccer championship game, two teams will battle for the volleyball championship at Juniata. A full preview will be posted Saturday morning once the championship contenders are finalized by means of Friday’s semifinals.

Semifinal winners                  
3:00 p.m. Live Stats Video


Men’s Soccer

The championship day will continue at Susquehanna when the second-seeded Crusaders host No. 4 Juniata in the men’s soccer title game at 6:00 p.m. The 2012 Landmark Champions, Susquehanna went 5-2 in the Landmark this season to earn the No. 2 seed in the tournament. The team battled the No. 3 USMMA Mariners in Wednesday’s semifinal and ran away with the 3-0 victory after falling 2-1 during the regular season.

Susquehanna is making its third championship appearance and boasts a 2-0 record in the title game. On the other end of the spectrum, Juniata is making its first appearance in the Landmark playoffs, let alone the championship. The Eagles went 3-3-1 in the Landmark this season with unprecedented wins over Scranton and USMMA.

On Wednesday, the team set out to show its success was not a fluke. Juniata took on top-seeded Catholic and jumped out to a 3-0 lead before earning the 3-1 win. With their sights set on a championship, the Eagles will travel to Susquehanna with a tall task in front of them.

Susquehanna is 16-0 against Juniata all-time including a 7-0 record in the Landmark. When the two teams met earlier this year, Andrew Murphy scored the game’s only goal in the 86th minute to give the Crusaders the 1-0 win in Selinsgrove.

The Crusaders are known for their big crowds and with Juniata less than 100 miles away, the championship game is primed to feature a great atmosphere.

No. 4 Juniata at No. 2 Susquehanna 6:00 p.m. Live Stats Video


Field Hockey

The final championship game will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the southernmost Landmark institution, Catholic University. The second-seeded Cardinals field hockey team is making its sixth championship appearance and fourth straight as it hosts No. 4 Scranton.

Catholic has won the last two Landmark field hockey titles and enters Saturday’s contest with a 12-5 record this season including a 4-2 mark in the conference. The Cardinals earned a spot in the championship after knocking off No. 3 Juniata with a 1-0 win in Wednesday’s semifinal. Taylor Elliott scored the game-winning goal in the 14th minute.

Scranton had to wait until the final weekend of the regular season to clinch the last spot in the Landmark tournament and they did it by knocking off Catholic. The Royals finished the regular season 3-3 in the conference and took on top-seeded Drew in the semifinals. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead early, Scranton needed an overtime goal to win it, but the Royals prevailed 3-2 to make their first appearance in the championship game.

The Cardinals are 6-2 against Scranton in Landmark history, but the Royals have won the last two match-ups including a 1-0 win last Saturday. Scranton’s Meghan Kearney scored an unassisted goal in the 44th minute while goalkeeper Krista Mundy finished with a season-high eight saves for the shutout.

The two teams have faced off only once in the Landmark tournament and it was five years ago. Catholic earned a 1-0 semifinal win in Washington to stand at 1-0 against the Royals in the Landmark tournament.

No. 4 Scranton at No. 2 Catholic 7:00 p.m. Live Stats Video

 

Admission to each championship game is $5 for adults and $3 for non-Landmark students and seniors. Landmark students, faculty and staff will receive free admission along with children 10 and under.