Scranton Rallies in Second Half to Edge Catholic

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The University of Scranton locked up the second seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference tournament Saturday afternoon, downing Catholic University, 12-10, in the regular-season finale for both teams.

After trailing 7-6 at halftime, the Royals mounted a 4-1 third-quarter scoring surge that put them up 10-7 with 15 minutes left to play.

Senior midfielder Sean Milde (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury) started the run, scoring just 15 seconds after the restart whistle. Senior attacker Robert Pantages (Roseland, N.J./West Essex) struck next, taking a pass from senior attacker Sean Coleman (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) and slotting past Catholic goalie Sean McKenna (Rockville, Md./Good Counsel) for the go-ahead goal. Junior midfielder Mike Rufo (Broomall, Pa./Haverford School) then doubled the Royals' lead less than a minute later with an unassisted effort. Freshman attacker Gus Sturm (Devon, Pa./Conestoga) rounded out the spurt, scoring on a man-up opportunity to make it 10-7 with 4:53 remaining.

Scranton responded well to a late third-quarter goal by the Cardinals, with freshman midfielder John Gregitis (Wayne, Pa./St. Joseph's Preparatory) scoring 45 seconds into the fourth quarter to push Royal lead back to three goals. After another Cardinal goal at the 10:46 mark, Rufo sealed the game with his third and final goal with 3:30 left to play.

If the second half seemed rather one-sided, the first half was anything but, with both teams finding a share of the lead two times apiece. Sophomore attacker Taylor Nelson (Chester Springs, Pa./Downingtown East) was integral during this phase of the game for the Royals, scoring four of the Royals' first six goals. He leads all Royal scorers this season with 26 goals.

Both goalkeepers were kept busy between the cage, with Scranton's Jeremy Dowiak (Hackettstown, N.J./West Morris) finishing with eight saves and McKenna stopping 16 shots for Catholic.

The Royals, now 7-7 overall and 3-2 in Landmark Conference, will host Catholic University in the semifinals of the Landmark Conference this Wednesday, May 4, at Fitzpatrick Field at a time to be announced.


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