Image Courtesy of Catholic University Athletics
By Jonathan Norman
The Catholic University’s women’s soccer team went to Scranton, Pennsylvania to play the top-seeded Royals after clinching their playoff spot in the Landmark Conference Tournament.
They lost to the Royals 1-0 in overtime of the Landmark Conference Semifinals, to end an excitable week and season. The Cardinals had an exciting past few days with each of their last few games being quite notable for different reasons.
Last Wednesday, the Cardinals had a loss against Mary Washington while on the verge of playoff contention. The biggest story, however, to emerge from this game did not relate to soccer, but to the pregame activities. Players from both Mary Washington and Catholic had lined up in the center of Carlini Field to stand for the national anthem. Instead of hearing “The Star-Spangled Banner”, everyone present heard the opening line of “Just Can’t Get Enough” by the Black-Eyed Peas. The mistake was quickly corrected, but the situation created a viral TikTok with over a million views.
Unfortunately, after the national anthem was played the Cardinals lost to Mary Washington 3-0. Mary Washington went on to play the Finlandia Lions in the C2C quarterfinals. After this loss, the Cardinals were able to battle back against Elizabethtown to punch their ticket to the Landmark Conference Tournament. In this strong win, Brienna Spano and Alexa Adelmann scored goals in the first half. This early scoring was enough to propel them to the No. 4 seed for the postseason. Throughout the game junior Jordan Siok also kept the pressure on Elizabethtown with a game-high six shots.
After the big win against Elizabethtown, the Cardinals faced their biggest challenge of the season in the postseason game against Scranton. Scranton and Catholic had a contest earlier in the year in which Scranton won 2-0 on Carlini field. This shutout game included a goal in each half for Scranton, along with smothering defense to keep the Cardinals from scoring. The tale of the Cardinal’s postseason matchup against Scranton was much different as both teams were scoreless at the end of regulation. Freshman goalkeeper Ava Rieger had a great game with 14 saves in the game to keep it scoreless until overtime.
In the fifth minute of the overtime period is when Scranton was finally able to break away and score the only goal of the contest. Scranton forward Emily Bannon received a great pass from midfielder Teresa Hegarty and was able to score a goal from the back post.
The Cardinals were able to give the top-seeded Scranton a brutal matchup but came up short in overtime. This highly entertaining content brought the end to what was a wild past few games for the Cardinals. With the viral mishap, the playoff-clinching win against Elizabethtown, and the tough battle against Scranton the Cardinals went through it all these past few days.
Looking into the future, the women’s soccer team certainly has much to build on for next year. This season they were a great defensive team as they only conceded five goals in all eight of their games against Landmark Conference teams. Next season they will surely be back and even better.