WASHINGTON - The Catholic University of America women's soccer team battled back and forth with the University of Scranton to ultimately come out on top, 3-2 in double overtime, for a Landmark Conference victory Saturday afternoon. Heading into the game both team were undefeated in conference play and CUA had not beaten Scranton on the road since 2007.
"This is a game that both teams circled on the calendar when the season started," said CUA head coach J.P. Sousa. "Everyone knew this was going to be a big one."
Scranton made their way on the scoreboard early as senior Gianna Vitolo knocked a shot past CUA senior Lexi Halperin at the 5:07 mark.
"We were not thrilled to spot them a goal in the opening minutes, but we kept our heads up and battled back," explained Sousaa. "We were confident that we could get a goal before halftime, and we did."
Catholic answered in the 34th minute with an unassisted shot from senior Kirsten Wosleger. After a CUA corner kick served by senior Maddy Thompson, the ball scrambled around the 18-yard box. Wosleger recovered the ball, sending it past Royals keeper junior Krissy Welsh, tying the game at one before the halftime break.
Following the intermission the Royals snuck another shot past Halperin taking a 2-1 advantage at the 79th minute. Six minutes later the Cards were awarded a penalty kick where the Landmark Conference's leading goal scorer, Lindsay Aleman stepped to the line and equalized the game, 2-2.
With a draw at the end of regululation the Cardinals and Royals earned extra time on the clock but ten minute wouldn't be enough. The game headed into double overtime before the Cards charged the field with a 3-2 win.
In the 107th minute junior Alyssa Fiore had the ball just outside the penalty box and passed it forward to freshman Taylor Pisk. With her back to goal, Pisk got a quick touch on it slotting the ball to Aleman who ran in from 12 yards out and slammed it, first time with her left foot.
"The ball hit the net and our bench absolutely erupted, it was awesome," Sousa expressed "Lindsay is a goal scorer. She comes through when our team needs a goal in key moments, and she does it in big games."
The Cardinals now sit 12-2 overall and at the top of the Landmark with a 5-0 conference record. The loss bring the Royals to 10-3-1 for the year, 4-1 in conference.
Aleman led the offense with five shots while Halperin made five saves during the 107 minutes.
"We are really happy to win today," Sousa said. "Scranton is a tough place to play. We did what we set out to do, which was go home with three more points in the standings."
The Cardinals will continue with conference play on Saturday, Oct. 24 as they take on the Susquehanna Crusaders a 3:30 p.m. for the final home game of the season.