Lady Wildcats Upset Penn St.-Abington in PK Shootout, Advance to NEAC Semifinals
ABINGTON, PA – Just like the SUNYIT Men's Soccer game earlier in the day, the first round of the women's NEAC Conference Tournament on Wednesday came down to a penalty kick shootout after two overtimes proved insufficient to break a 1-1 stalemate. Fortunately for the Lady Wildcats, however, the similarities ended there, as the women went on to defeat home team Penn St.-Abington 4 to 2 in the shootout.
Emerging SUNYIT superstar Dakota Hanley (Franklin, N.Y. / Franklin Central) scored the only goal of the game for the Wildcats in the 21st minute, just 35 seconds after Alyssa Kaye scored Penn St.-Abington's only goal.
Hanley ran past the Nittany Lion defense for a one-on-one with the keeper, and chipped the ball over the goalie's head as she came out to attempt a stop.
Both goalies were, nevertheless, fantastic, as Aubrey Campbell (Auburn, N.Y. / Auburn) finished the day with her third-highest save total of the year, stopping 11 Nittany Lion shots, while on the other side Gabrielle Benedict turned away 15 SUNYIT tries.
In the shootout, Abbey Hanehan (Stillwater, N.Y. / Stillwater) and Amanda Zarek (Massapequa, N.Y. / Farmingdale) converted the first two tries for the Wildcats, giving the team an advantage as Abington missed two of their first three. When Veronica Metz (Morrisville, N.Y. / Morrisville-Eaton) nailed SUNYIT's fifth attempt a few moments later, the Wildcats were free to celebrate.
SUNYIT now advances to the NEAC Championship Semifinals, where they will take on top-seed and tournament host Penn St.-Berks. The tournament will be hosted by the Nittany Lions and take place on the Penn St.-Berks campus, as the hosts square off with SUNYIT at 11:30 am this Saturday.