Parker, Russo Lead Scranton Past Moravian In Landmark Conference Semifinal
Junior midfielder Sydney Parker (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) and sophomore forward Samantha Russo (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown) helped The University of Scranton women's soccer team start its defense of the Landmark Conference championship in strong fashion.
Both players had a goal and an assist as the Royals posted a 3-0 victory over Moravian in a Landmark Conference semifinal match at Fitzpatrick Field on Wednesday night.
The Royals (12-3-3) also received a goal from sophomore forward Rebecca Hextall (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Marymount) as they advanced to the conference championship for the second straight year and the third time in five years.
After the game started with a largely uneventful 35 minutes, Parker gave Scranton the lead in the 37th minute when her shot from the top of the box skittered past the Moravian goalie after taking a pass from junior midfielder Sarah Gibbons (Monroe Township, N.J./Monroe Township). The goal was Parker's second of the season while Gibbons picked up her second assist.
Hextall made it 2-0 just four minutes into the second half when Russo fed her with a perfect pass for a breakaway, and Hextall made it count when she powered a shot past the Greyhounds' keeper from 14 yards out. The goal was Hextall's sixth of the season and her third in the last two games. Russo's assist was her fourth of the season.
Russo put the game away in the 77th minute when she took a pass from Parker on the right side a chipped a shot over the keeper for her team-leading eighth goal of the season. For Parker, it was her team-leading seventh assist.
The 3-0 victory mirrored Scranton's regular season win over Moravian as the Royals' defense stymied the Greyhounds (6-11-2) in both matches. They allowed just three shots on this night, none on goal, for their eighth shutout victory over the season.
The win could be a teller of good fortunes for the Royals. They've beaten the Greyhounds twice before in the Landmark Conference playoffs, both times leading to a championship. They upended Moravian in last year's semifinals and in the 2007 championship match.
The win also gave Scranton an 11-3-2 advantage in the all-time series against Moravian.
The Royals will seek their third Landmark Conference title on Saturday, November 5, when they host Catholic University at Fitzpatrick Field at a time to be determined. The Cardinals defeated Susquehanna, 3-2, in the other semifinal on Wednesday.