BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College women's soccer team heads to top seed The University of Scranton for the 2016 Landmark Conference Championship match on Saturday, November 5 beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Field.
The winner of the match receives the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament that begins with first round action on Friday, November 11. The second seeded Greyhounds, who are 10-6-1 on the season, are making their fourth trip to the Landmark Conference Championship match, having won the title in 2008 and finishing as the runner-up in 2007 and 2012.
Moravian advanced to the championship contest this fall with a 4-3, double-overtime win over third seed Catholic University of America in a semifinal match Tuesday night while the Royals defeated fourth seed Susquehanna University, 1-0 in overtime, in the other semifinal contest.
Third-year Head Coach Jeff Ykoruk has the Blue and Grey in the postseason for a second consecutive fall after making the Landmark Conference Semifinals as the fourth seed in 2015. Ykoruk has also guided the Hounds to a 7-2 mark since October 1 with a 5-1 slate in Landmark action to finish the regular season with the lone setback being a 1-0 double-overtime loss at Drew University. The Greyhounds and the Royals met in the Landmark Conference season opener back on September 24 with Scranton winning 3-0 on John Makuvek Field.
Sophomore forward Gabby Stelzmiller, this week's Landmark Conference Offensive Athlete of the Week, leads the Greyhounds with 11 goals, including her second hat trick of the season in the semifinal win, and three assists for 25 points while senior forward Valentina Margiottiello has contributed five goals with the overtime game-winner on Tuesday and six assists for 16 points this season.
Freshman defender Paige Weiss has netted three goals while freshmen midfielder Juliana Caranci has a goal and three assists. Junior forward Abby Guman has added a goal and two assists while junior forward Emily Crowley has contributed a goal and an assist. Freshman forward Taylor Irr and sophomore defender Shae Duka each have one marker while senior forward Hannah LaFronz and junior Lauren Bertucci have both added an assist for the Hounds.
Junior goalie Jessica Lawton, this week's Landmark Conference Defensive Athlete of the Week for the third time this fall, has posted 75 saves this season with a 1.09 goals-against average, four shutouts and a 9-5-1 record in 1,402 minutes. Freshman goalie Jamie Daly has seen 180 minutes of action with 13 saves, a 1.50 goals-against average and a 1-1 record this fall.
Scranton enters the match with a 16-1-1 record this fall, and the Royals, who are ranked fifth in both the NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Region and National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional Rankings, are looking for their fifth Landmark Conference Championship with titles in 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Sophomore midfielder/forward Jamie Hreniuk leads Scranton with 12 goals and three assists for 27 points this fall while sophomore forward/midfielder Erica Licari has added seven goals and four assists for 18 points. Junior midfielder Hannah DeMars has seven goals and two assists for 16 points while sophomore midfielder Brittany Uricchio has added six goals and four assists for 16 points and senior defender Carolyn Warner has contributed seven goals and an assist for 15 points.
Senior keeper Krissy Welch had a 14-1-1 record in goal with eight shutouts to go with 57 saves and a 0.64 goals-against average in 1,413 minutes while senior goalie Danielle Maurice has three saves and a 1-0 mark in 179 minutes. Sophomore keeper Colleen Barry has posted two saves and a 1-0 mark in 90 minutes, and the trio has combined for five more saves as the Royals have not allowed a goal in 13 of 18 contests this fall.
The trip to Scranton is the sixth in the last 10 years for the Blue and Grey in the Landmark Conference Tournament, falling in both title matches in 2007, 4-2, and 2012, 2-0, and in the semifinals in 2010, 2011 and 2013.