Strong second half propels CUA to 4-0 win over Scranton

Strong second half propels CUA to 4-0 win over Scranton

SCRANTON, Pa. – No. 14 CUA earned its 11th win of the season on Saturday with a 4-0 blanking of Scranton.  The Cardinals shook off a sluggish first half to score four second half goals and improve to 11-2 overall and 2-2 in the Landmark Conference.

The Cardinals out shot the Royals 16-4 on the afternoon, including a 13-0 advantage in the second half.  CUA also had 11 penalty corners to Scranton's five, and in goal for CUA, Krystyanna Ramsdell sent back two shots.  Scranton keeper Alexandria Marandino stopped four shots for the home team.

"We were playing their game in the first half, but in the second half we really played our game," CUA head coach Gia Cillizza said following the game.  "We had some nice passing combinations and we capitalized on our opportunities in the second half.  Certainly we made some adjustments at halftime and settled down a bit, but I thought we really played our game, and played it well in that second half."

Neither team took a shot until eight minutes had elapsed, when Scranton's Corrie Szapka got off an attempt, but Ramsdell made the save for CUA.  Less than a minute later Beth McLaughlin tried her hand for the Royals, but the shot was blocked.

The Cardinals first attempt did not come until the 17:04 mark from Mary Swarthout, but it was blocked and the score remained 0-0.  Meredith Chandler's attempt at the 20:54 mark was saved, while Tracey Scanlon's shot just 40 seconds later hit the post, keeping it a scoreless contest.  That wound up being CUA's final shot of the opening 35 minutes, sending the teams into halftime knotted at zero.

CUA started to create more opportunities for itself in the second half as the Cardinals totaled five shots and were awarded five penalty corners in the opening eight minutes of play.  CUA finally broke through at the 43:42 mark when Chandler scored off a nice cross from Kendall Petschauer to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

As the game wore on CUA continued to take more and more control, as the Cardinals held Scranton without a shot for the entire second half.  CUA added to its lead with just under seven to go when Tory Gagliardi scored on a Scanlon pass on a play that began on a corner to make it a 2-0 game.

Less than three minutes later Abby Banholzer put CUA on top 3-0 with her fourth goal of the season.  Emily Sencindiver assisted on the score as the Cardinals opened up a three-goal advantage.

Emma Dixon put the finishing touches on a great day for the Cardinals with her score at the 69:58 mark when she tapped in a rebound for her tenth goal of the season to set the final margin at four.

"We were very good on attach in that second half, we were supporting one another and we were creating chances," Cillizza said.  "We were also very good through the midfield.  Kendall (Petschauer), Andrea (Baick), and Tracey (Scanlon) all did some terrific things."

She went onto say, "On defense I thought Liz Grumbein and Catherine Mirsky played tough, intelligent games.  Overall I think we were very balanced on offense, which was great to see, and in the second half we were much more proactive.  This was a good conference win on the road and right now we're feeling confident."

The Cardinals are now off until next weekend when they host Drew in a Landmark Conference contest on Friday, October 22 underneath the lights.  Game time is set for 6:00 from inside Cardinal Stadium.