Scanlon's overtime goal sends CUA into championship game

Scanlon's overtime goal sends CUA into championship game

WASHINGTON – Tracey Scanlon's goal 6:41 into overtime lifted CUA to an exhilarating 2-1 victory over Juniata on Wednesday in the semifinals of the Landmark Conference Tournament.  The Eagles had pulled even with a penalty stroke at the 67:48 mark of regulation before Scanlon's heroics in the extra session.

Neither team was able to score in the opening half, but that was not due to a lack of chances.  The Cardinals and Eagles combined for 15 shots and 11 penalty corners in the opening 35 minutes, but headed to halftime with no score on the board.

Colleen Harwood took the first shot just 27 seconds in, but it went wide, while Juniata's Caitlyn Bowman took the Eagles first shot at the 2:01 mark, but it was blocked.

At the 5:56 mark Juniata was awarded a penalty corner and soon after the Eagles got off two shots, but CUA's Megan Comunale sent back both, keeping it a scoreless game.

Midway through the half CUA was awarded a penalty corner and Kim Hermann got free for a pair of shots, but both attempts were blocked.

A shot by Juniata's Emma Dahmus at the 28:31 mark was stopped by Comunale, while Scanlon's shot five minutes later was blocked.

Following the scoreless first half, CUA wasted little time in scoring the first goal of the night early in the second.  Katie Bertrand took a feed from Harwood and found the back of the cage for a 1-0 Cardinals lead.

Over the course of the next 10 minutes CUA took all nine shots in the game, but the Cardinals were unable to add to their lead.

With barely more than two minutes remaining, Juniata was awarded a penalty stroke.  Shauna Deschenes beat Comunale with the shot and the teams were tied at one.

After the final seconds ticked off the clock, the game headed for overtime.

Juniata got the first shot of OT at the 73:04 mark, but Comunale was there for the save.

Soon after, CUA was awarded a penalty corner and Scanlon got free for a shot, but the Eagles' Janelle Howard was there for the save.

Another penalty corner by CUA, this one coming at the 73:57 mark, led to a shot by Harwood, but again Howard made the save.

The Cardinals were awarded a third penalty corner of OT at the 75:53 mark and this time CUA delivered.  Swarthout inserted the ball and Scanlon scored her third game-winner of the season to send the CUA sideline jumping for joy.

The Cardinals finished with a 28-10 advantage in shots and a 21-8 edge in penalty corners.  Comunale stopped six shots in the game, while Howard sent back 12 CUA shots.

CUA will now host the Landmark Conference championship on Saturday inside Cardinal Stadium.  The Cardinals will take on Drew at a time to be determined.  CUA downed the Rangers 5-0 earlier this week in Scranton, Pa.  This marks the fourth time in five years that CUA has advanced to the championship.

See what CUA Head Coach Gia Cillizza had to say following the game below.