Strong second half carries CUA past Eastern into second round

Strong second half carries CUA past Eastern into second round

WASHINGTON – CUA made its NCAA Tournament debut a successful one on Wednesday, downing Eastern 5-2 inside Cardinal Stadium.  The Cardinals trailed 1-0 and 2-1, but outscored the Eagles 4-0 in the final 37:33 to earn their 17th win of the season, which ties the program record for victories.

Eastern took a 1-0 lead 6:05 into the game when Kelby Bolton found the back of the cage.  Katie Lipsit got off a shot earlier in the Eagles' possession, but CUA's Megan Comunale made the save.

CUA wasted little time in tying things at one, with a Kim Hermann score at the 7:40 mark off an assist by Tracey Scanlon.

With just over 12 minutes gone, CUA was awarded back-to-back penalty corners and Maura Campbell eventually got off a shot, but it was blocked, keeping the score 1-1.

Two straight penalty corners by Eastern around the 20-minute mark led to a shot by Bolton, but Comunale was once again there for the stop.

At the 29:27 mark the Eagles pulled in front when Yvonne Herbster found the back of the cage following a penalty corner.  Brittany Moyer assisted on the score.

Once again, CUA wasted little time in getting the equalizer, scoring just three minutes later on Hermann's second goal of the game.  The teams took their 2-2 tie into halftime.

The second half was a different story for CUA, as the Cardinals outshot Eastern by a commanding 21-0 count and they were awarded five of the six penalty corners.

Cassie Sperruzza gave the Cardinals their first lead of the game at the 35:54 mark.  Campbell assisted on the score, which came following a penalty corner.

Rebecca Lukaszczyk then made it a 4-2 game at the 39:48 mark with her fourth goal of the season, which was assisted by Scanlon.

With less than four minutes remaining, Sperruzza put this one away when she knocked in her second score of the game to make it 5-2.  Swarthout assisted on the goal, which was not only Sperruzza's second of the game, but also the entire season.

The Cardinals finished with a 31-4 advantage in shots and a 13-6 lead in penalty corners.  Comunale stopped two shots in goal for CUA, while Eastern keeper Sara Blaylock did all she could to keep the Eagles in it, with 14 saves.

With the win CUA finishes its season with a perfect 11-0 record at home and increases its winning streak to 17 straight inside Cardinal Stadium.  The Cardinals also tie the school record for single season victories, which they set last season.

CUA now moves into the second round of the tournament, which will take place on Saturday, November 12 on the campus of The College of New Jersey in Ewing, N.J.  The Cardinals will take on sixth-seeded Lynchburg at 2 p.m. 

Earlier in the day TCNJ will face William Smith at 11 a.m. with the two winners squaring off on Sunday at 1.

See what Cardinals Head Coach Gia Cillizza had to say regarding Wednesday's game below.