CUA earns thrilling 20-18 overtime win vs. No. 10 Messiah

CUA earns thrilling 20-18 overtime win vs. No. 10 Messiah

GRANTHAM, Pa. – No. 18 CUA picked up its biggest win of the season on Wednesday, outlasting No. 10 Messiah 20-18 in overtime.   The Cardinals trailed 17-13 with four minutes to play in regulation before battling back to force OT.  CUA then outscored the Falcons 3-1 in the extra session to earn its second straight win.  

The teams were tied at nine late in the first half before Messiah's Meghan Doolittle found the back of the net with one second remaining to give the Falcons a 10-9 advantage at halftime.

Messiah then scored the first four goals of the second half to open up a 14-9 lead with 25:50 to play, but CUA was far from done.

Mallory Vogel got the rally started with back-to-back goals to make it 14-11 with 17:14 on the clock, and after Mary Swarthout scored with 15:28 remaining, the Cardinals were down by just two.

Lizzy Keeney answered for the Falcons to make it 15-12, but Vogel came right back with another score to make it 15-13 with 11 minutes to play in regulation.

Messiah kept the pressure on with back-to-back scores to make it 17-13 with less than eight minutes on the clock, and it looked as though CUA was running out of time.

The Cardinals had other plans though, unleashing a furious rally in the final four minutes to force overtime.  Swarthout netted a pair of goals in 58 seconds to make it 17-15 and Meghan Brady's score at the 2:12 mark made it 17-16.

Lindsay Brophy then sent the Cardinals into a frenzy with her game-tying score with only 53 ticks left on the clock.

Following the ensuing draw control, neither team was able to get off a shot which sent the game into overtime.

CUA struck first in the overtime period, receiving a goal from Brophy with only 39 seconds to play to give the Cardinals an 18-17 lead.

In the second overtime period, Mary Robinson gave CUA a two-goal lead with 2:40 to play, and soon after, Messiah was whistled for a yellow card, giving the Cardinals a chance to put the game away.

Brophy delivered, scoring her third goal of the day to put CUA in front by three.  Keeny scored for the Falcons with 52 seconds to play, but by then it was too-little, too-late.

CUA finished with a 37-26 advantage in shots and a 22-17 lead in ground balls.  Caroline Scalamandre led the Cardinals with four ground balls, while Swarthout finished with an incredible eight goals, two assists, nine draw controls and three caused turnovers. 

Freshman Tricia Pehnke came off the bench and earned the win in goal for the Cardinals, stopping two shots in over 20 minutes of action.

The first half was tight throughout, with Messiah jumping out to a 2-0 lead, only to see Swarthout, Theresa Ciletti and Vogel answer with three straight scores to put CUA on top by one.

Rachel Dirksen's goal at the 23:36 mark tied the game at three, but Swarthout notched goal number-two just 10 seconds later to again give the Cardinals a one-goal advantage.

Two straight goals by the home team gave Messiah a 5-4 lead with 21:49 to play before halftime, but Swarthout struck again, which tied things at five.

The teams then traded the next six goals, capped by Swarthout's score at the 2:33 mark, to tie the game at eight.

Brady broke the back-and-forth scoring trend with a goal at the 2:04 mark to put CUA in front by one, but the Falcons scored the final two goals of the half to take a 10-9 lead into the locker room.

CUA returns to action on Saturday afternoon when the Cardinals play host to Drew in the 2012 Landmark Conference opener.  Start time is set for noon from inside Cardinal Stadium.