Courtesy of Scranton Sports Information
SCRANTON, Pa. - The sophomore duo of A.J. Nardone (Dallas, Pa./Dallas) and Connor Casey (Hatfield, Pa./LaSalle College H.S.) each scored goals in the second half, catapulting the second-seeded University of Scranton men's soccer team to a 2-0 victory over third-seeded Susquehanna in the semifinals of the 2015 Landmark Conference Tournament on Tuesday night at Fitzpatrick Field.
With the victory, Scranton (now 9-6-2 on the year) moves on to Saturday's Championship Match, where they will take on the winner of Wednesday's tilt between Elizabethtown and Catholic in the other Landmark semifinal. Susquehanna ends the year at 9-7-2 with the defeat.
After a scoreless first half that saw Susquehanna outshoot the Royals 4-3, Scranton turned up the pressure from the opening whistle in the second period, creating various chances at the net in the first eight minutes of play.
In the 55th minute, the Royals cashed in on a chance, as junior Michael Romano (Freehold, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) fed Nardone a pass right in front of the net that the sophomore finished, scoring his third goal of the year on the play to put Scranton up 1-0.
For the next 18 minutes, Scranton continued to dominate play, keeping possession on their end of the field. Finally, in the 74th minute, Casey scored the go-ahead goal off a goalie deflection, giving the Royals a two-score lead they would not surrender the rest of the night.
Overall, Scranton ended the night with a slim 8-7 edge on total shots. In net, junior goalie Eric Hintz (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) preserved another shutout victory for the Royals making three saves on the evening.
The Royals will now move on to the Landmark Conference Championship Match on Saturday, where they will play for a conference championship for the first time since 2012.
The site and time of the match is yet to be determined. If Elizabethtown advances in their semifinal tomorrow, the Blue Jays will host, while a win by Catholic will enable the Royals to host at Fitzpatrick Field.
Stay with athletics.scranton.edu for updates as they become available throughout the week.