BY JIMMY CASSIDY
The Catholic University field hockey team is moving on in the Landmark Conference tournament after a wild shootout victory over Juniata College. After two 35 minute halves and two 15 minute overtime periods, the scoreboard showed the same score as it had before those 100 minutes of play — 0-0. The penalty shootout, or “strokes” would break the stalemate and decide which team would move on to play in the conference championship. After losing to Juniata a week before, Catholic was determined to overcome the loss and beat the defending conference champions. The Cards did just that with a 3-1 shootout win to keep their season alive.
Junior goalkeeper Analisa Scott delivered another impressive performance, as she had to make 5 saves from Juniata’s 13 shots in the contest. The Juniata Eagles also outnumbered Catholic in penalty corners, 13-6, but the defense remained strong to not let up a goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Sophie Hamilton was in front of the cage for the penalty shootout, and she made 2 big saves to give CUA the advantage.
“We weren’t ready for our season to be over and it was a huge team win! We have fallen short to Juanita the past three times we have played them so some revenge was definitely in order,” Scott said after the game.
On the team’s first shootout attempt, sophomore Rachel Day finally got the ball past the keeper after 100 minutes of no goal scoring. Hamilton answered with a save to give the Cards a 1-0 lead after the first round of the shootout. After Juniata tied the score, sophomore Kelly Cousoulis shot the ball in between the keeper’s legs to score. After another CUA save, senior Hayley Wright clinched the win with a goal of her own. In front of a loud Juniata crowd under the lights, it was Catholic who rushed onto the field to celebrate the victory.
“We prepared really well for the game mentally and we were on our A game from the second the whistle blew to start the game until the second Hayley Wright scored the winning goal,” Scott said.
The #19 nationally ranked Cardinals advance to their sixth straight Landmark Conference championship game. They will travel to Elizabethtown to take on the top-seeded Blue Jays on Saturday, November 7th, at 2 PM.
**UPDATE** – CUA, Champions of the Landmark Conference
The Cardinals knock off #1 Seed Elizabethtown, 2-1, to win the Landmark Conference and guarantee themselves a spot in the NCAA Tournament