Cardinals set to defend title after taking down Crusaders 3-0

WASHINGTON - The Cardinals will get a chance to play for their second straight Landmark Conference championship after CUA shutout Susquehanna 3-0 on Saturday in the conference semifinals.  The Cardinals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 13 minutes and were never threatened for the remainder of the game.

CUA controlled action in this one from start to finish, outshooting the Crusaders 33-1 including a 13-0 margin after halftime.

The Cardinals were also awarded 15 of the 17 penalty corners, including all six in the second half.

CUA took the first nine shots of the game, including one from Maura Campbell at the 8:13 mark that found the back of the net to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.  Hayley Wright assisted on the goal.

Five minutes later, Campbell fed Colleen Harwood for a goal, and a 2-0 Cardinals advantage.

Back-to-back shots by CUA near the 24-minute mark were both saved, as the Cardinals continued to keep the pressure on. 

A penalty corner awarded to CUA in the final minutes of the half led to two more shots by the Cardinals, but they were both saved, keeping the lead at two.

Less than 10 minutes into the second half, CUA went up by three when Wright scored off a feed from Harwood.

That proved to be all the offense CUA needed in picking up its 11th win of 2012.

Megan Comunale was barely challenged in goal for CUA, but did stop the lone shot she faced, while Susquehanna's Margaret Ruth turned back 20 shots for the visitors.

CUA now moves into Sunday's championship where the Cardinals will play host to second-seeded Drew, a 2-1 winner in overtime earlier on Saturday.  Start time on Sunday is set for 1 p.m. in what is a rematch of last year's title game, won by the Cards 5-1.

This marks the fifth time CUA has advanced to the Landmark championship.