CUA holds off Scranton to advance to fifth straight title game

CUA holds off Scranton to advance to fifth straight title game

WASHINGTON – CUA will play for its fifth consecutive Landmark Conference championship after the Cardinals held off Scranton 14-11 on Wednesday in the semifinals of the conference tournament.  The Royals pulled to within 11-10 with 7:32 to play before the Cardinals scored three of the final four goals to earn the win.

CUA scored the first two goals, including one by Erin Fowler and another by Mary Swarthout to go in front 2-0 less than five minutes in.

Emily Mulligan sliced the Cardinals lead in half with a goal at the 24:48 mark, but CUA responded with goals by Swarthout, Meghan Brady and Lindsay Brophy to open up a 5-1 lead with 20:03 to play before halftime.

Deanna Giorno scored Scranton's second goal of the afternoon with 16:55 remaining in the half, but Brophy's score at the 10:09 mark pushed the lead back to four.

With under ten to play, Scranton's Kaela Mahon made it a 6-3 game, but Swarthout responded with her third goal of the half to again put the margin at four.

Kerry Sullivan netted back-to-back scores in the final 2:41 of the half though, and the Cardinals led by only two at intermission.

Katie Miller and Brady scored back-to-back goals for CUA in the opening 4:30 of the second half to give the Cards a 9-5 lead, but Mahon cut the margin to three with a score at the 24:46 mark.

Brady answered for CUA a little over a minute later on a free position shot to make it 10-6, but Scranton continued to hang around, netting three straight scores in a span of 3:08 to pull the Royals within one with 9:02 on the clock.

Miller fed Mallory Vogel for a score with 7:47 to play, which ended the Scranton scoring run, but Giorno came right back and scored on a free position shot to again cut the margin to just one.

Unfazed, CUA came back with three straight scores, beginning with Tori Neill's goal at the 6:56 mark.  Ciletti followed with another goal to make it 13-10 and after Vogel scored on a free position shot, CUA was on top by four with four minutes to play.

Sullivan netted the game's final goal with 1:49 on the clock, to set the margin at three.

The Cardinals out shot their counterparts 40-26 and owned a 27-16 advantage in ground balls.  CUA held a decided advantage in draw controls, winning 18 of 26, while going 9 of 16 in clear attempts.

Swarthout led CUA with 11 draw controls and four caused turnovers, while Brady led the way with five ground balls.

Tricia Pehnke got the start in goal and stopped seven shots, before Yasmeen Ajdari came on for the second half and stopped three shots.

CUA now moves into the Landmark Conference championship game, which will take place on Saturday, May 5 inside Cardinal Stadium beginning at 1 p.m.  The Cardinals will play host to Susquehanna, who CUA defeated 13-9 on April 14 in Selinsgrove, Pa.

Check out some of the highlights from Wednesday's win in the video below.