Stunning Rally Lifts Women's Soccer To 10th Straight Victory
The University of Scranton women's soccer team scored twice in the final 4:41 to rally past Western Connecticut State, 2-1, on Wednesday night at Fitzpatrick Field.
The Royals (10-2) won their 10th straight match in surprising fashion after the Colonials (9-5) had taken a 1-0 lead in the 58th minute. After Scranton was held without a shot for most of the second half, the Royals put on an offensive push in the final minutes that led to a pair of dramatic goals.
The first tally came at the 85:19 mark when junior midfielder Ellen Walker (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) scored from 10 yards out on a feed from freshman forward Kelsy Bacon (Macungie, Pa./Emmaus). Walker found herself alone in front of the goal, and she ripped a shot that was too strong for the Western Connecticut goalkeeper.
Less than three minutes later, the Royals found the match-winning goal off a corner kick by Walker. She sent the free kick into the box where it found the feet of freshman forward Christina Akalski (Long Beach, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial), whose shot snuck past a pair of Colonials defenders and the goalkeeper for the go-ahead goal.
Walker finished with a goal and an assist, her first points of the season. She now has eight career points (two goals, four assists). Akalski scored her fifth goal of the season, giving her 13 points (five goals, three assists) on the season. Bacon's assist was her third to go along with six goals for 15 points, one behind senior forward Samantha Russo (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Yorktown) for the team lead.
The late rally was the third of the season for Scranton, which scored late in regulation and again in overtime to beat Farmingdale State, 3-2, on Saturday, Sept. 21. The Royals then pulled the same trick in a 2-1 overtime win against Muhlenberg three days later.
The 10 straight victories for the Royals is their longest winning streak since they won 17 in a row in 2003. The victory was Scranton's first against Western Connecticut State since 2009. The Royals are now 3-8-1 all-time against the Colonials, who received a goal from freshman midfielder Celia DeVoe (Farmington, Conn./Farmington) in the 58th minute.
Scranton outshot Western Connecticut, 12-10, and had a 10-0 advantage in corner kicks. Senior goalkeeper Kelsy McAnelly (West Chester, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) made four saves to earn her ninth victory of the season and 33rd of her career.
Scranton returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 12, when the Royals travel to Collegeville, Pa. to take on Ursinus in a non-conference match at noon.