Hofstra women upend UNC-Wilmington in OT, 2-1, to win CAA final
WILLIAMSBURG, Va.- Sam Scolarici scored in the fourth minute of the second extratime to lift the Hofstra University women to a 2-1 win over North Carolina-Wilmington and to the Colonial Athletic Association championship on Sunday.
The Pride (11-8-2), which earned its third CAA title, booked a spot in the NCAA Division I women's tournament. The selection show can be seen on NCAA.com on Monday at 4 p.m. as Hofstra will discover its first-round opponent.
Scolarici collected the pass at the top of the penalty area, raced in and fired a 12-yard shot that found the net at William and Mary's Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field. UNCW finished its season at 12-7-3.
When Scolarici's shot beat goalkeeper Caitlin Hunter, it initiated an on-field celebration.
Sophomore Lulu Echeverry (East Meadow, N.Y.) had one of her best games of the season, scoring Hofstra's only goal in regulation and assisting on Scolarici's game-winning gpa; to clinch Hofstra's first CAA title since 2007.
Hofstra junior goalkeeper Emily Morphitis (London, England) made six saves, including four in the second half, to earn CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors.
Fifth-seeded Hofstra won all three tournament games away from home, upending fourth-seeded Northeastern on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals before moving past top-seeded William and Mary on penalties in the semifinals on Friday. Morphitis made two saves each in both shootouts.
Simon Riddiough guided Hofstra to its fifth appearance in the CAA championship game and earned his second conference championship crown as the head coach.
All five games in the conference tournament went beyond regulation, with the final showcasing two evenly matched teams as Hofstra outshot UNCW, 20-19, with both goalkeepers recording six saves.
Echeverry and CAA-leading scorer Stephanie Rose scored for their respective teams in the first half.
For the second time in three tournament games, the Pride opened the scoring in the opening 10 minutes when Echeverry scored in the seventh minute. Freshman Leah Galton (Harrogate, England) picked up the assist.
Hofstra collected the ball at midfield with Scolarici making a back-heel pass to Galton, initiating a 3-on-2 rush. Galton raced down the field and dribbled deep into the box before sending a cross just in front of the goal line. Echeverry pushed in the ball at the right post for her eighth goal of the season and first since Oct. 14 and a 1-0 lead.
The Pride nearly extended the lead later in the half when sophomore Caylin Dudley's (Gransonville, Md.) shot was saved and freshman Chloe Dale (Birmingham, United Kingdom) sent the rebound attempt just high, keeping the score knotted at 1 with 18:05 left in the first half.
Morphitis grabbed Jen Ludemann's header off a cross, corralling the ball in the 22nd minute to preserve the one-goal lead.
But UNCW tied it before halftime when the Seahawks drew a Hofstra foul just inside the box, setting up Rose's penalty kick to the left side in the 38th minute. Rose's goal was her CAA-leading 14th goal of the season.
CAA ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Eva Badana, Drexel
Brooke Bendernagel, Hofstra
Melissa Chapman, Drexel
Leah Galton, Hofstra
Kiersten Harpe, William & Mary
Caitlin Hunter, UNCW
Leci Irvin, William & Mary
Jen Ludemann, UNCW
Maddie McCormick, UNCW
Emily Morphitis, Hofstra
Jill Mulholland, Hofstra
Most Outstanding Performer: Emily Morphitis, Hofstra