Hofstra Wins CAA Women's Soccer Championship
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (November 4, 2012) - Hofstra sophomore Sam Scolarici scored from 12 yards out with 6:21 remaining in the second overtime to lift the fifth-seeded Pride to a 2-1 victory over #3 UNCW in the CAA women's soccer championship game Sunday afternoon at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field.
Hofstra (11-8-2) claimed its third CAA women's soccer championship, but first since 2007, in dramatic fashion. In capturing the title, the Pride prevailed in penalty kicks shootouts over #4 Northeastern and #1 William & Mary in the quarterfinals and semifinals before getting past the Seahawks. Hofstra earns an automatic berth to the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship, which gets underway next Friday.
UNCW, which also reached the CAA finals after besting two opponents in PK's, ended its season with a 12-7-3 record.
On the game-winning play, sophomore Lulu Echeverry was able to make a run up the middle before dishing the ball off to Scolarici. She made a couple of dribbles to the right side before sending a shot just inside the left post for her 10th goal and third game-winning goal of the season.
Hofstra jumped out to a quick 1-0 advantage just 6:20 into the contest. Scolarici got the play started with a nice dash down the middle of the field before finding freshman Leah Galton on the left side of the box. Galton dribbled towards the end line and then sent a perfect cross to Echeverry, who finished with a short shot inside the right post. The goal was Echeverry's eighth of the year and Galton was credited with her fifth assist.
UNCW got the equalizer in the 38th minute. The Seahawks' Stephanie Bronson was taken down in the box by a Hofstra defender, resulting in a penalty kick. Senior Stephanie Rose beat Pride keeper Emily Morphitis to the left side for her league-leading 14th goal of the year.
The Seahawks controlled play early in the second half and had a pair of good scoring opportunities in the first 12 minutes. Senior Kim Currie's 16-yard shot was deflected on a kick save by a charging Morphitis in the 52nd minute. Just five minutes later, UNCW freshman Maddie McCormick chipped a shot over Morphitis from 12 yards away that bounced off the top of the crossbar. McCormick finished with a team-high seven shots.
With 18 minutes left in regulation, Hofstra nearly broke the deadlock. Freshman Jeannine Molleda worked her way past a pair of UNCW defenders, but saw her 10-yard shot miss just wide of the right post.
The game was extremely tight and well-played throughout, with Hofstra finishing with a narrow 20-19 advantage in shots and an 8-7 edge in shots on goal.
Morphitis was named the Most Outstanding Performer of the championship after making five saves in the championship match. UNCW senior goalkeeper Caitlin Hunter, who was also named to the CAA All-Tournament squad, stopped six shots.
Joining the two keepers on the all-tournament squad were Galton, Brooke Bendernagel and Jill Mulholland of Hofstra along with McCormick and Jen Ludemann of UNCW. Rounding out the team were Drexel's Eve Badana and Melissa Chapman and William & Mary's Kiersten Harpe and Leci Irvin.
CAA ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Eva Badana, Drexel
Brooke Bendernagel, Hofstra
Melissa Chapman, Drexel
Leah Galton, Hofstra
Kiersten Harpe, William & Mary
Caitlin Hunter, UNCW
Leci Irvin, William & Mary
Jen Ludemann, UNCW
Maddie McCormick, UNCW
Emily Morphitis, Hofstra
Jill Mulholland, Hofstra
Most Outstanding Performer: Emily Morphitis, Hofstra