CUA races past Drew 3-1 to move closer to postseason berth

CUA races past Drew 3-1 to move closer to postseason berth

WASHINGTON – The CUA field hockey team moved one step closer to earning a spot in the upcoming Landmark Conference Tournament as the No. 15 Cardinals downed Drew in impressive fashion with a 3-1 win on Friday evening.  Following a scoreless first half CUA exploded for three second half scores to earn its 12th win.

Despite not scoring any goals in the first half, CUA (12-2 overall, 3-2 Landmark) was able to control the action, as the Cardinals outshot the Rangers (12-4 overall, 3-2 Landmark) by a 12-0 advantage.  For the game, CUA held a 20-2 advantage in shots and 15-8 in penalty corners, including 8-2 in the opening 35 minutes.

Krystyanna Ramsdell earned the win in goal for the home team with one save, while Drew goalkeeper Lauren Fasano sent back nine shots for the Rangers.

"We played a full game with lots of energy and pressure and execution from start to finish," Gia Cillizza, CUA's head coach, said afterwards.  "That was the most complete conference game we've played this season which is great to see at this time of year.  We're playing at the level we want to be at with a lot of confidence.  We have great energy right now and a good team atmosphere."

CUA's first shot of the night came from Mary Swarthout at the 10:59 mark, but Fasano made the save.  Over the next ten minutes, CUA unleashed six more shots, as the Cardinals kept Fasano busy with the Rangers keeper stopping five of those shots.

Emma Dixon's shot at the 26:16 mark went wide for CUA, while Swarthout's shot at the 34:41 mark also went wide and ended the first half with the score knotted at zero.

Five minutes into the second half CUA broke the tie when Swarthout took a feed from Kendall Petschauer off a penalty corner and found the back of the cage for a 1-0 Cardinals lead.  A little over a minute later Swarthout went looking for more, but her shot went wide.

At the 43:06 mark, Emma Dixon scored her 11th goal of the season, this one also coming off a penalty corner as CUA's lead increased to 2-0.  That forced Drew to call a timeout.

The stoppage did little to help the visitors, as CUA took the game's next three shots, capped off by Tory Gagliardi's score at the 63:05 mark to make it a three-goal lead for the Cardinals.  "It was great to see us execute and score all three of our goals off penalty corners," Cillizza said.  "That is something we've been working on of late."

Drew was finally able to add a late goal when Sarah Charles scored at the 65:18 mark, but by then it was too little, too late as CUA registered its third straight win.

"I thought our defense was outstanding," Cillizza explained.  "They were stopping everything which made things tough on Drew to get anything started."  She continued, "Our passing combos looked great out there, our backs transferred the ball well and I thought our forwards put a lot of pressure on Drew throughout the game."

CUA will return to action on Thursday, October 28 when the Cardinals travel to take on No. 6 Salisbury.  Game time is set for 6:00.  "That will be a good test for us," Cillizza said.  "It's a great opportunity for us to face a very strong team and show them what we have."