WASHINGTON - On Saturday The Catholic University of America women's soccer team will aim to capture their second consecutive Landmark Conference title. The No. 1 seeded Cardinals will face off at 1 p.m. at CUA Soccer Field, in a 2014 finals rematch, against the No. 2 seeded University of Scranton Royals.
The Cardinals topped the conference's regular season standings with seven wins and 21 standings points, becoming the first team in league history to accomplish the feat. Since the Landmark's inaugural season in 2007, Catholic has claimed two conference titles (2009 & 2014) while Scranton has captured four (2007, 2010-2012). No other team in the Landmark has been crowned more than once.
Under the helm of CUA head coach J.P. Sousa, the 2015 Cardinals have achieved a 15-2-0 overall record thus far and outscored their opponents 57-17. This success is attributed to Catholics' depth and dynamic offense with six players who have tallied at least 10 points in this year's campaign. Three of those six players have maintained top-five spots on the Landmark's leaderboards for offensive statistics.
A standout for the 2015 Catholic squad, junior Lindsay Aleman, sits on top of the conference with 20 goals scored, 42 points total. Along with her conference rankings, Aleman currently sits 17th in the nation for NCAA DIII women's soccer in goals per game (1.18) and 15th in total goals. Her national rankings also include 24th in both points per game (2.47) and total points.
Together with Aleman on the Catholic offense, senior Kirsten Wosleger, currently sits in a three-way tie topping the Landmark with six assists and is fourth for points (18). Additionally, junior Andrea Jablonskyj, holds a spot on the conference leaderboard after tallying six assists so far.
Freshman stud, Taylor Pisk, is Catholic's leading scoring rookie with six goals in her debut campaign and is among the Cardinal's top three point holders. Behind Alemen and Wosleger, Pisk has tallied 15 points for the year.
In their 17 contests, the Cardinals have seen twelve different goal scorers this season with nine scoring at least two as well as nine different game winners. Defensively, senior goalkeeper Lexi Halperin, holds the conference's fifth place spot for goals against average at 1.03.
The 2015 Royals, under the direction of Scranton alumnus Colleen Pivirotto, will travel to the nation's capital with the difficult goal of upsetting the reigning Landmark Champions.
Scranton (13-3-2, 5-1-1) reached the finals as the No. 2 seed, after downing the No. 3 seeded Elizabethton, 1-0, in double overtime of the semifinal match. Royals junior Kelly Egan notched the game winner in the 109th minute to guide her team to their sixth consecutive showing in the Landmark Conference Finals.
Egan tops the Landmark Conference in game winning goals (six) for the 2015 season. Catholic's Aleman sits right behind her with five game winners for the year.
In the Cardinals-Royals 2015 regular season contest, hosted by Scranton, the Landmark power houses played 90 minutes to a 2-2 draw. After 107 minutes it was CUA that charged the pitch after the game winning goal from Aleman.
In last season's Landmark championship match, Catholic scored an early goal in the 22nd minute to go ahead 1-0 over Scranton. The Cardinals held on for 90 minutes as Halperin stopped all seven Royals shots on goal, leading the team to their first title in five years.
The Cardinals reached the 2015 Landmark finals after their 3-0 semifinal victory over the fourth seeded Moravian College Greyhounds. As the top seed they will host the Royals in front of the Cardinal faithful at 1 p.m., Saturday, November 7 with the hopes of their third Landmark crown and second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.