Courtesy of Scranton Athletic Communic
ADA, Ohio – The University of Scranton women's soccer team (11-5-5) put forth a valiant effort and battled No. 17 Ohio Northern (18-2-3) to a scoreless draw for 110 minutes, but the Polar Bears advanced on penalty kicks in a second round NCAA Tournament game on Sunday afternoon at Kerscher Stadium in Ada.
This marked the third consecutive year that the Royals have advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and the ninth time in program history after advancing on penalty kicks against No. 10 Centre on Saturday.
Ohio Northern advances to the Sweet 16 where they will play the winner of Carnegie Mellon/Swarthmore next weekend. The Polar Bears won the penalty kick shootout by a 4-2 count.
Both sides were able to mount some pressure in the early going and Scranton had a couple of chances in the first 15 minutes, but Polar Bears goalie Meagan Grierson made a pair of saves. Ohio Northern had a shot bounce off the crossbar in the 27th minute and freshman Claire Sites nearly gave the Royals the lead in the 30th minute, but her attempt rolled just wide of the net. The Polar Bears held a slight 5-4 shot advantage in the first half.
Sophomore goalie Amanda Steinberg made a couple of key saves in the final 10 minutes of regulation to keep the game scoreless and perhaps the best chance of the night for the Royals came in the 88th minute as a shot from junior Mazie Stiles trickled just wide of the target. Steinberg continued to shine in overtime and denied an attempt by Rose Nienaber in the 97th minute. A shot from the Polar Bears' Jenna Fuller bounced off the crossbar in the 104th minute and just a few minutes later, Steinberg made a save and senior Ashley Carabajal cleared the rebound attempt off the goal line to keep things deadlocked at zero.
Ohio Northern held an 18-8 edge in shots and sophomore Grace Elliott paced Scranton with three shots on the afternoon. Both Grierson and Steinberg tallied five saves apiece for their respective teams.
The game marked the final contest in a Scranton uniform for Carabajal and fellow senior Rebecca Russo.