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Women's soccer wins second consecutive conference championship

Women's soccer wins second consecutive conference championship

Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference Women's Soccer Championship

Penn State Mont Alto 5, Penn State Brandywine 0


The top-seeded Penn State Mont Alto women's soccer team finished off a perfect conference playoff run, allowing zero goals in 180 minutes of action as they defeated Penn State Brandywine 5-0 on Wednesday afternoon to capture the 2022 PSUAC Women's Soccer Championship. The win marks the second straight season that Penn State Mont Alto women's soccer has won a conference championship.


The championship contest remained scoreless throughout much of the first half until Penn State Mont Alto put two quick tallies on the board. In the 22nd minute, Nicole Jones dribbled down the right side taking a couple of Brandywine defenders with her. She crossed the ball to the left side in front of the goal passed Brandywine keeper Demareste Dorvilma to where Lacey Daum was standing with a wide open goal in front of her. Daum stopped the cross and found the back of the net for Mont Alto's first goal of the championship match. 


A minute later, Rachel Merrill stopped a Brandywine attack with a takeaway on a Brandywine throw in at midfield and found Avery Diehl up the field. Diehl dribbled and passed back to Merrill who beat one defender for her second goal of the season. Penn State Mont Alto took a 2-0 lead into the halftime break.


Early in the second half, Penn State Mont Alto took another Brandywine giveaway and provided some nice passes on offense. Nicole Jones found Avery Diehl who later passed to Lacey Daum working the left endline. Daum sent a cross in past a Brandywine defender to a wide open Alexis Mariano. Mariano registered her third goal on the season, putting Mont Alto up 3-0 early in the second half. 


Seconds following the third goal, Penn State Mont Alto used a throw in from Madison Eberly to help set up the fourth tally. The throw in was controlled outside the box by Avery Diehl, who bounced the deflection over to Mariano who struck the ball from 25 yards or so out over the head of Demareste Dorvilma for her second goal in under a minute. Penn State Mont Alto led 4-0 early in the second half.


In the 67th minute, Mariano controlled a pass from a Mont Alto midfielder which she took all the way to the right endline outside of the goal mouth. Mariano sent a cross in to a standing Madison Eberly. Eberly had the goalkeeper to beat from a couple of yards out and was able to record her tenth goal on the season.


Penn State Mont Alto outshot Penn State Brandywine 14-1 in the championship match. The Mont Alto defense led by PSUAC Defensive Player of the Year Grace Banfe pulled off a perfect postseason by not allowing a single goal.


The USCAA National Championship Tournament held in Virginia Beach, Virginia is up next for Penn State Mont Alto. The third seeded Nittany Lions will take on Paul Smith's College on November 12 at 2:30 p.m. and Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences on November 13 at noon in pool play.