In two games that both featured a hat trick, the men’s and women’s soccer teams at the Catholic University of America dealt with opposite results on Wednesday, November 4th. For the women, the result was a huge success — a 3-0 win. The men saw their season come to a close in a 4-1 defeat.
In their Landmark Conference playoff semifinal match, the women’s soccer team took on the Moravian College Greyhounds. The Cards had not dropped a conference match yet this season, and their goal to run the table was not crushed Wednesday. A second half surge led Catholic to a 3-0 victory and a chance to win the Landmark Championship for a second straight year. The win moves the team’s record to 15-2, while Moravian’s season ends at a 4-10-3 mark.
The Greyhounds played the Cardinals tough in the first 45 minutes of the contest and kept the score at a 0-0 tie. Moravian did not record a shot in the half, but managed to not let one of Catholic’s seven shots find the back of the net. Still, control of the game was in favor of the #1 seed Cardinals as the half ended.
The home side continued to dominate the match as they outshot their opponents 12-2 in the final 45 minutes. Junior Lindsay Aleman and freshman Taylor Pisk led the offensive attack with 6 shots each. Catholic’s leading goal scorer broke the scoreless tie in the 70th minute when Pisk headed the ball to her off a corner kick. Just seven minutes later, senior Kirsten Wosleger found Aleman in front of goal with a slick pass. Aleman got around the keeper and finished for the 2-0 lead. The hat trick was completed in the 86th minute when she launched a shot from the top of the 18-yard box past the keeper.
“At halftime we talked about what we needed to do to execute,” explained Aleman. “In the second half I watched the plays adjust and when the ball came to me I knew what I needed to do to get the goal,” Aleman said.
Catholic held on for the 3-0 victory after 90 minutes. Much to the credit of the Cardinals’ defense, goalkeeper Lexi Halperin was not tested much in the match, as the Greyhounds took only 2 shots.
The team will now host the Landmark Conference Final match on Saturday, November 7th, at 1 PM, at CUA Soccer Field. Their opponent will the University of Scranton Royals.
The #4 seed men’s team did not fare as well against #1 seed and #6 nationally ranked Elizabethtown College. The Elizabethtown Blue Jays had not lost a conference match at all this season, and their overall record was 16-1-1. Catholic had some work to do against a strong opponent. Landmark leading goal scorer Jeff Light for Elizabethtown continued his dominant season and led the team with a hat trick. The Cardinals’ season ended after the 4-1 defeat.
CUA fought valiantly as they outshot the Blue Jays 16-15. The Cards went into halftime with a manageable 1-0 disadvantage, and the upset was still possible. The Elizabethtown attack did not relent as they found the back of the net three more times in the second half to take a commanding 4-0 lead.
Senior captain Tyler Zimmerman finished his impressive career at Catholic leading the team with 3 shots on goal. In the 81st minute of the match he beat a defender to put pressure on goal where he crossed the ball to freshman Corbin Brailsford. Brailsford shot the ball along the ground past the keeper to prevent the shutout. After 90 minutes, the final score showed 4-1. The 2015 campaign for the men’s soccer team finished at a 7-9-2 overall record.
“We will be back next year,” said sophomore defender Cameron Linnville after the tough loss.
**UPDATE** – CUA Women’s Soccer Wins Landmark Championship
The Cardinals defeat Scranton in a comeback victory to take second consecutive championship, 3-2 on Saturday, November 6th.