Cardinals Finish Season in Landmark Conference Semifinals

Cardinals Finish Season in Landmark Conference Semifinals

SELINSGROVE, Pa. - After playing Susquehanna to a scoreless draw on Wednesday, the Catholic University women's soccer team concluded its season in penalty kicks during the semifinals of the 2019 Landmark Conference Women's Soccer Championship.

In a rematch of last year's conference semifinal matchup, the Cardinals (8-7-4) came out on the short end of an evenly-contested match.

Neither side found a breakthrough in the first half, as the River Hawks outshot the Cards 4-3. Junior goalkeeper Nina Fernandez made three saves to keep the match scoreless. 

Freshman forward Elizabeth Gorman took the lone shot for the Cardinals in the second half as both sides went back to their benches at the end of regulation with match tied at 0-0. 

A shot by Krista Boretti sailed high with under a minute left in the first overtime and the hosts let the clock tick down to zero, sending the contest into double overtime.

Elizabeth Johnson played through ball to Gorman that came close to getting Catholic through with under three minutes left in the second overtime, but the chance was cleared. Neither side put a decent chance on goal in the second 10-minute extra period and the match moved to penalty kicks to decide a winner.

In a match where neither side dominated possession, Susquehanna had the slight edge in shots, 9-5.

Fernandez made four saves to pick up her eighth clean sheet of the season. The Catholic backline consisting of Daniella Montesano, Mackenzie Earley, Reagan SharkeyVictoria Corte-Real and Taylor Porcello limited Susquehanna's offensive chances throughout the contest.

In penalty kicks, Susquehanna (15-3-2) fired home with its first effort while Sharkey sent Catholic's first attempt over the bar. Corte-Real found the back of the net with her attempt after the River Hawks converted on their second shot.

In the third round, Susquehanna missed wide and Johnson leveled the scoring with her shot that went in the right side of the net. Fernandez then saved Susquehanna's fourth attempt, but Porcello's shot hit the crossbar, denying the Cardinals the advantage.

After the River Hawks converted in round five, an attempt by Maggie Moorcones was saved to give the hosts the victory.

The semifinal loss marks the second time in the last three seasons that Catholic has fallen in penalty kicks to Susquehanna as the Cards fell in PKs by the same 3-2 margin on Nov. 1, 2017.

Wednesday's match marked the final match in a Catholic uniform for Montesano, Earley, Johnson, Sharkey, Bella BertonciniGrace BorasGabby Demarest, and Sarah BrushThe 2019 senior class helped the Cardinals to 39 wins over the past four seasons and four trips to the Landmark Conference tournament. 

Susquehanna advances to the Landmark Championship to take on Scranton, who topped Elizabethtown in the other semifinal contest, 3-2.


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