SCRANTON, Pa. --- The second seeded Moravian College women's soccer team saw its 2016 season come to a close in the 2016 Landmark Conference Championship match as the Greyhounds fell to top seed and host The University of Scranton, 2-0, Saturday afternoon.
The Hounds complete the year with a 10-7-1 mark after playing in the Landmark title match for the fourth time in the 10-year history of the conference. Moravian won the title in 2008 while falling at Scranton in 2007, 2012 and this season. The Blue & Grey have had their season end six of the last ten years while playing at Fitzpatrick Field against the Royals.
"Unfortunately today we learned that we can't let the pressure of a conference finals get to us," stated Head Coach Jeff Ykoruk. "Scranton is a senior laden-team and they have been in this moment before and that was the difference in the first 10 minutes. I felt our players showed what we are capable of in the second half. If Scranton doesn't clear the ball of the goal line at the start of the second half the game could have ended differently.
"Coming into our game Scranton was 8-0 at home outscoring its opponents 28-0," he continued. "I felt if we could score, it would put some added pressure on them. Hats off to Scranton, they are a very good team and will represent our conference well in the NCAA Tournament."
Scranton jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute with a header goal on a corner kick, and the Royals added their second tally in the ninth minute for all of the scoring in the match.
The Greyhounds had a chance to cut the Scranton lead in half in the 27th minute but sophomore forward Gabby Stelzmiller's shot on a direct kick sailed high. In the second half, junior defender Lauren Bertucci and freshman defender Kristen Parry were high with shots while Stelzmiller sent one wide of the goal.
Greyhounds' junior goalie Jessica Lawton had three saves in the contest.
Saturday's match was the final contest for seniors defender Christine Miklas and forwards Valentina Margiottiello and Hannah LaFronz. The trio helped the squad to three Landmark Conference Tournament appearances during their careers.
"Our seniors are responsible for our programs development," commented Ykoruk. "Last year we learned how to compete. This year we learned how to win. Next year we learn how to win a championship. Without them, none of this process is possible. They are all very special people and they will move on to do great things. It hurts to say goodbye to them but they have so much to look back on and be proud of."