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Stelzmiller's Late Goals Give Greyhounds No. 2 Seed in Landmark Conference Tournament

Stelzmiller's Late Goals Give Greyhounds No. 2 Seed in Landmark Conference Tournament

BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Sophomore forward Gabby Stelzmiller scored twice in the final 10:25 to lift the Moravian College women's soccer team to a 2-0 win over visiting Susquehanna University in Landmark Conference action Saturday afternoon at John Makuvek Field that gave the Greyhounds the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference Tournament.

The Hounds, who finish the regular season at 9-6-1 overall and 5-2 in Landmark play, return to the postseason for the second straight year, and the Blue and Grey will be hosting a Landmark Conference Tournament match for the first time since 2008 when Moravian defeated Juniata College and the Catholic University of America for the Landmark Conference title. The Greyhounds last hosted a postseason match in 2012 when the squad welcomed Lebanon Valley College for an ECAC Division III South Quarterfinal match.

"I felt like we struggled early in the game connecting passes," commented Head Coach Jeff Ykoruk. "We addressed that at the half and thought the second half was much better. I was proud to see Gabby Stelzmiller convert on the PK and end the game with the second goal.

"For us to earn the 2nd seed is great accomplishment," continued Ykoruk. "It was a goal of ours and we knew how important it was for us to not have to travel for a mid week game. It's another step forward for our program and to achieve this on Senior Day makes it that much better."

Moravian junior goalie Jessica Lawton had three saves in the first half, and the Greyhounds would have two shots on goal in the opening 45 minutes of action with one for Stelzmiller and the other by sophomore defender Shae Duka.

Each team had an early shot on goal in the second half in the first 5:19 of action, and that would be it until the 80th minute. The River Hawks were called for pulling Moravian junior defender Lauren Bertucci down from behind in the box. Stelzmiller would drive the ensuing penalty kick into the back of the net for her seventh goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.

With just over a minute and a half to play, senior forward Hannah LaFronz sent Stelzmiller on a breakaway down the right side. Stelzmiller took a short touch to settle the ball and dodge the goalie before burying the ball in the net to finish off the scoring.

Lawton had four saves, and she and the Moravian defense have not allowed a goal in conference action in the last 270:32 of action.

"Our back line and goalkeeping was amazing," noted Ykoruk. "This is the third conference game in a row without a goal against. I thought Catherine Condly gave us a big lift in the central part of the mid field in the second half and really lifted our team to another level."

Prior to the match, the Greyhounds honored LaFronz and fellow seniors forward Valentina Margiottiello and defender Christine Miklas.

Moravian will return to action on Tuesday, November 1 in a Landmark Conference Semifinal versus No. 3 seed Catholic at John Makuvek Field with action beginning at 7:00 p.m.