W&J Advances To Fifth-Straight Empire 8 Conference Tournament Championship Match
UTICA, N.Y. –Washington & Jefferson College junior forward Jennifer Marabella (Sinking Spring, Pa./Holy Name) scored two goals as the fourth-seeded Presidents knocked off top-seeded Utica 4-2 in the semifinals of the Empire 8 Conference Field Hockey Tournament Saturday morning.
The Presidents (13-4) advance to Sunday’s championship match at noon against No. 3 Nazareth (3-2 winner over Stevens). W&J will play for the conference title for the fifth-straight year, but is still searching for its first league championship and automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Marabella started the scoring at the 18:06 mark off a pass from junior midfielder Erin Barno (Camp Hill, Pa./Cedar Cliff).
The Pioneers (11-8) answered right back 52 seconds later on a Mallory Mariano goal; however, the Presidents scored three minutes later for a 2-1 advantage. Senior defender Hannah Lott (Aspers, Pa./Bridgeville) set up sophomore defender Victoria Patrick (State College, Pa./State College) on a penalty corner to put W&J back ahead.
Ally Sanders continued the first-half scoring flurry and sent the teams into the locker rooms tied with a goal 2:37 before halftime.
Marabella scored on a rebound 3:34 into the second half to give Washington and Jefferson the lead for good. Barno added an insurance goal at the 51:02. She took a pass from junior forward Amanda Pflumm (Shoreham, N.Y./Shoreham Wading River) in the box, turned and fired a shot past Utica goalie Monica Storms.
The W&J defense held Utica to just two shots on goal the rest of the match, both of which were turned away by senior Shelby Colyer (Oxford, Ohio/Talawanda). Colyer finished with seven saves. Storms totaled 12 saves in the loss.
The Presidents, who held a 20-10 shot advantage, will be looking to avenge a regular-season loss Nazareth. The game is a rematch of the 2007 championship contest won by Nazareth at Cameron Stadium.