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November 02, 2012
Vol. 54 No. 8

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Crusaders clinch postseason spot

EYE ON THE BALL
Courtesy of Sports Information
EYE ON THE BALL - Senior midfielder/back Mirissia Mekosh runs down the ball in previous action against William Paterson.
The Crusaders defeated Moravian 2-0 in a must-win game to clinch a spot in the Landmark Conference playoffs.

With the shutout win, the Crusaders (6-12 overall, 3-3 Landmark Conference) locked up the fourth seed in the conference playoffs.

Senior forward Nicole Solino scored the first goal of the game for Susquehanna in the 25th minute, redirecting a shot by junior midfielder Erica Reichart past the Moravian (8-9. 2-4) goalkeeper Catherine Gottlieb.

The Crusaders used four penalty corners in the first half to put pressure on Gottlieb. Susquehanna took the slim 1-0 lead into halftime, outshooting their opponents 6-5.

In the second half, sophomore forward Brodie Ercole took the ball down the sidelines and uncorked a shot from the far post into the back of the cage to give the Crusaders a 2-0 lead. The Greyhounds had two penalty corners in the final two minutes, but junior goalkeeper Margaret Ruth stood tall on both attempts to preserve the shutout. Ruth notched her second shutout of the season, making seven saves on the 10 shots taken by Moravian.

Susquehanna carried the momentum they had from the first half into the second half, taking 14 shots in the second to finish with a total 20 shots and nine on goal. Bradley led the way with nine shots.

The Crusaders defense played well throughout the game, preventing the Greyhounds fromhaving consistent scoring chances.

"As a coaching staff we were impressed with our high energy play and ability to execute our game plan versus Moravian," head coach Kaitlyn Wahila said. "We wanted to score first to set the tone, and once we did score first we played with confidence throughout the rest of the game. It is always a great thing when you enter the halftime up 1-0. We also had extra motivation as it was our senior day on Saturday, and so we knew we could play for our seven seniors and let them walk off of Sass Field with a win."

Prior to the game, the team honored their seven seniors: forwards Solino, Jillian Terry and Gina Palazzi and midfielders Allison Abey, Ally Bradley, Tiffany Collins and Mirissia Mekosh.

Bradley and Solino tied for the team lead with seven goals and were the top two point-scorers for the Crusaders this year. Bradley tallied 17 points on seven goals and three assists, while Solino ended with 16 points with seven goals and two assists.

Susquehanna will take on Catholic in the first round of the Landmark Conference playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. after the tournament was delayed due to inclement weather.
In the first match-up between the two teams, Catholic held on for a 3-2 win over the Crusaders in Selinsgrove.

"This team is ready to compete versus the Catholic Cardinals on Thursday evening," Wahila said. "We played Catholic to a 3-2 game during the regular season and I believe if we stick to our game plan we will continue to execute on the field and give Catholic a great game. We are energized to have a couple of great practices and then get on the road to play Catholic on Thursday."

SPORTS HEADLINES

Crusaders finish second, qualify for regionals

Crusaders clinch postseason spot

Close game results in loss to Moravian

Crusaders defeat conference rival F&M

Crusaders earn another shutout victory

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