Courtesy of Catholic Sports Information
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Catholic University of America women's soccer team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championships after a 3-2 victory over the Hanover College Panthers on Saturday, November 15 on the campus of Carnegie Mellon.
The Cardinals advance to 16-1-3 on the season, while the Panthers finish their season 16-5.
"Words can't describe how the team feels right now," said CUA Women's Soccer Head Coach J.P. Sousa. "To win an NCAA tournament game is huge, something we talked about all week, and the girls came together to get it done tonight. This is a very exciting moment for our program."
The Cards and Panthers battled hard in the first 20 minutes of play to get a score on the board.
Catholic struck first, on a free kick in the 23rd minute of the first half. Maddy Thompson fired the free kick into the box that landed on the head of Alexa Povelaitis, who sent it into the top corner of the net for the 1-0 lead and making her second goal of the season.
Just 15 minutes later in the 38th minute Thompson took a shot that rebounded off the post. Panthers' goalkeeper, Karlee VanDerWeele, tried to get her hands on the ball when Alexis Garcia swooped in and eyed in her opportunity to advance the lead to 2-0, as she popped the ball inside the post.
Hanover rallied back just before the end the of the first half, when Tricia Walsh completed a pass from Anna Cornacchione in the 39th minute, for the Panthers to come within one by the halftime intermission, 2-1.
After halftime intermission the Cards regained their two goal lead in 70th minute. Andrea Jablonskyj took an unassisted shot from outside the 18-yard box that bounced over VanDerWeele's head and into the net for her fifth goal of the season and to pull Catholic ahead 3-1.
The Panthers shook the Cardinals feathers once again when Alvis sent the ball past Catholic's Lexi Halperin in the 82nd minute. The Cardinal defense locked down for the final eight minutes of play to clinch the 3-2 win and advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Cardinals outshot Haverford 15-4 throughout the match, Kaylre Greaves led the squad by taking three.
"Now we advance to play a very strong Carnegie Mellon team on their field in the second round," explained Sousa. "There is no reason we can't go toe-to-toe with them and get a similar result."
The second round of the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship kicks off at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 16, when Catholic takes on Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburg, Pa.