Courtesy of Scranton Sports Information
MADISON, N.J. - The University of Scranton field hockey team ended three years of frustration Wednesday evening.
After losing to Drew University in overtime in the semifinals of the Landmark Conference tournament in each of the past two seasons, the Royals pulled out a 3-2 victory in overtime against the top-seeded and 18th-ranked Rangers.
With the win, Scranton, now 14-5, moves into Saturday's title game against Catholic University in Washington, DC, which it defeated last Saturday, 1-0, in the final game of the regular season.
And for the second straight game, sophomore forward Meghan Kearney (Broomall, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) provided the heroics, scoring the game-winning goal in the 77th minute on a play set up by junior forward Alyssa Fania (Annandale, NJ/North Hunterdon). Fania found herself in a one-on-one situation with Drew senior goalkeeper CC Carlini (Amherst, NH/Bishop Guertin) and dished the ball off to Kearney, who tapped it in the open cage for her sixth goal of the season and her third game-winning goal of the year.
Fania and sophomore forward Krista Osborne (Blue Bell, Pa./Gwynedd-Mercy) finished with a goal and an assist for the Royals, who recorded their first-ever Landmark tournament win and posted their first win over Drew since October 15, 2011.
The Royals got out of the gates early, as Fania scored off of a pass from Osborne less than three minutes into the first half. Osborne then scored an unassisted goal in the 13th minute as Scranton jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
Drew, which pulled out a 5-4 win at Scranton on October 26th by scoring the game-deciding goal in the 67th minute, fought back and tied it up on an unassisted goal by sophomore midfielder Bea Cannavale in the 18th minute and off of a penalty corner in the 31st minute on a goal by senior forward Brooke Gagliano.
Each team also came up with key plays on the defensive, as Ranger sophomore back Taryn Murphy stopped two potential Royal goals with a pair of defensive saves while Scranton junior midfielder Kathleen Keale stopped a Drew goal with a defensive save of her own.
Junior goalkeeper Krista Mundy, the reigning Landmark Conference Defensive Player of the Week, made five saves while Carlini was credited with six.
Drew held a 14-11 edge in shots and a 16-8 margin in penalty corners.
Fania's goal and assist give her a team-leading 32 points (12 goals, 8 assists) on the season while Osborne's goal was her ninth of the year.
The Royals will be making their first championship game appearance since losing to Drew University in the Freedom Conference tournament in 2004, 3-2. In that game, current Scranton head coach Colleen Moyer, known then as Colleen Mahon, had the assist on the Rangers' game-winning goal in overtime, which, coincidentally, happened exactly nine years ago today on November 6.