Courtesy of Drew Sports Information
SCRANTON, Pa. – The Drew University women's soccer team won the 2013 Landmark Conference Championship, defeating the University of Scranton, 4-3 in penalty kicks. The Rangers receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Sophomore Mel Santos scored the fourth and final goal in penalty kicks to send the Rangers to their first NCAA Tournament since 1997. The game officially goes in the books as a 1-1 tie, moving their overall record to 15-3-1. With the tie, the Royals are now 15-3-1 on the season.
Senior Agata Dera as named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, making five saves and holding the Royals scoreless for nearly 88 minutes of regulation. The fourth-year netminder, faced 19 shots by the Royals and squandered numerous Scranton opportunities throughout the contest.
It looked as if the Rangers were going to take home the title in regulation. Sophomore Emma Campbell scored her third goal of the postseason in the seventh minute off an assist by Santos. Campbell blasted a shot from 15 yards out giving the third-seeded Rangers an early, 1-0 lead.
The early offense seemed to be enough until the 89th minute. The Royals drew a corner in which Ellen Walker served a perfect ball to the back post where it was headed in by Erin Casey, sending the home crowd into a frenzy.
Carrying the momentum into the overtime periods, the Royals were able to posses the ball for most of the 20 extra minutes. With fatigue setting in, both teams were unable to get a shot on goal. Each team was able to get off a total of two shots a piece between the two, 10-minute extra sessions.
Head Coach Christa Racine called on 5-10, freshman Ryan Jackson to be the Rangers last line of defense in the penalty kicks. The action was the first of the season for the first-year goalkeeper.
The Rangers won the coin toss, electing to shoot first. In round one, both teams missed the goal. Scranton's Megan Gilmartin and Campbell both made their tries in round tie, tying the shootout at one. Scranton's Jasmine Sconciafurno and Katie O'Keefe followed suit in round three tying the shootout at two. Round three saw two more successful tries when Walker and Kiana Lundy converted their attempts in the fourth round. A Scranton miss in the fifth round set the stage for Santos to win the program's first Landmark Conference Championship.
The 2013 NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Monday at 1:30 p.m. The first round will take place the weekend of November 16th at a site to be determined.