For the second straight year, Messiah College ended the College of Staten Island women’s soccer season, this time by way of a 4-0 win on the neutral soccer field hosted by Buffalo State College as part of opening round play in the NCAA Division III Postseason Championship Tournament. The Falcons win was their 16th-straight and improved them to 18-2 overall while the Dolphins finalized at 12-5-2.
A year ago, the Falcons out-shot the Dolphins, 43-1, and took home a 6-0 win. Messiah was able to take this one thanks to another great offensive performance, one that featured 18 shots in the first half as the Falcons built a 3-0 lead.
The scoring came early as Messiah put on the pressure early. After two shots went wide and a Marisa Weaver shot was swept off of the line, the Falcons got on the board thanks to an unassisted marker by Missy Biener, who turned on a shot after a CSI turnover at the top of the box at 6:34.
The pressure continued and 14 minutes later Katie Shults registered off of a right-side cross from Erin Sollenberger via the header. Shults had just reported into the game just two minutes before. Four minutes later, Shults returned the favor by feeding Sollenberger a pass that she sent on goal and past a sprawling Nicole Mignone to give Messiah a 3-0 lead.
That held until halftime. Mignone would save five shots in the final 21 minutes of the frame, while Sara Yunez was able to put away a Stephanie LaPointe shot for CSI, their only shot of the stanza.
MC controlled play for most of the second frame and kept peppering the CSI end until their would score their final goal in the 73rd minute. The goal occurred on a corner, as Lilly Shover sent a bender in the box that was headed in by Lydia Eichorn, making it 4-0.
CSI tried in vain to get their offense brewing but the MC defense was up to the challenge, not allowing a single chance in the final 45 minutes. MC’s Ellie Lengacher nearly added a final goal with 4:02 left, denied by the post.
Messiah led the final shot count, 32-1 (16-1 on goal) and held a 14-0 lead in corner kicks. There were only two fouls in the entire game, one for each side.
Despite the loss, CSI was able to clinch their second straight trip to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament, clinching their eighth CUNYAC Championship and second-straight.