UNION, N.J. (11/13/13) – Senior Stephanie Soares scored twice – including the go-ahead goal with 12 minutes left – to lift the Kean University field hockey team to a 3-2 win over Arcadia University in the quarterfinals of the ECAC Tournament on Wednesday. Soares had a hand in all three goals to lead the Cougars to saturday's Semifinal.
In the first 10 minutes of the game, play was heavily tilted toward the Arcadia goal. The Cougars enjoyed a 4-0 advantage in corners and held possession about 75 percent of the time. The pressure finally got to the Knights, as a loose ball in front was hit by Soares and eventually put home by Korri Thompson (pictured left) with a high shot for the early 1-0 lead.
After a sprawling save by Katie DiCarlo to keep the lead, Kean earned another penalty corner. Claire Keenan inserted the ball to Laura Cheatham, and her long shot was re-directed by Soares into the Knight cage to double the Cougar advantage.
Arcadia answered back on their second corner of the night. DiCarlo kicked out the initial shot but the rebound came to Molly Goldstein on the doorstep. She put it away for the Knights' first score.
Arcadia nearly had an equalizer two minutes before the half expired, but a tip-in was ruled a dangerous play. The Knights rallied and earned another penalty corner and finally a penalty stroke with no time left on the clock. Lauren Ransegnola converted the penalty stroke to make the halftime score 2-2.
Not much happened in first 15 minutes of the second half, with the teams combining for just four shots and with only one on goal.
Kean finally broke through with 12 minutes left on the clock. Soares held the ball near the perimeter of the circle and fired a rocket shot along the ground. The ball picked its way among the Knight defense and plunked against the hardwood for the go-ahead score.
The Cougars withstood swarming late-game pressure, including the Knights pulling their goaltender with two minutes remaining. Arcadia outshot Kean 6-2 in the second half and 14-9 in the game, yet the Cougars came away with the stirring 3-2 victory.
Kean will have the honor of hosting the ECAC final four, beginning in the semifinals against #8 Alvernia University on Saturday. Gametime is set for 1:30 p.m. #2 Stevens Institute of Technology will square off against #6 Delaware Valley College at 11 a.m.