No. 8 CUA Blanks No. 13 Messiah, 2-0, in Season Opener

No. 8 CUA Blanks No. 13 Messiah, 2-0, in Season Opener

WASHINGTON – The Catholic University of America field hockey team opened the 2015 season in style, earning an impressive win against a nationally-ranked foe on Tuesday night at Cardinal Stadium. The No. 8 Cardinals faced off against No. 13 Messiah and shutout the Falcons, 2-0.

Catholic scored both its goals in the first 21 minutes of the game and senior goalkeeper Analisa Scott was sensational, turning away every Messiah offering to earn the shutout victory, the sixth of her career.

"I thought we played really well tonight," said head coach Gia Cillizza. "Messiah is one of the great programs in the country and that was very good team we played against. Analisa was fantastic for us and really stepped up in the second half when we needed her most."

Scott stopped all four Falcon shots on goal, facing eight total shots, while coming out from the posts to deflect away many more balls with her feet, blockers and stick.

In addition to its staunch defensive effort, sophomore Marisa Martinelli scored the game-winner in the 18th minute, scoring just after a CUA penalty corner.

Just three minutes later, sophomore Rachel Day added the insurance goal, going low to beat­­­ the out-stretched Messiah keeper.

Both goals were set up and assisted senior Hayley Wright, who showed some fancy stick work to find her teammates for the open looks.

It was the third-straight season in which Catholic and Messiah have met, with previous two times resulting in CUA wins in the NCAA Tournament. It was the first-ever meeting between the two programs in the regular season.

The Cardinals head to Memphis this weekend, playing two games at Rhodes College, taking on the host on Saturday at 11 a.m., before facing Hendrix at 1 p.m. on Sunday.