EASTON, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College women's soccer team advanced, 4-3, on penalty kicks to the third annual Catholic Cup championship game after playing to a scoreless draw in its season opener at Stonehill College on Friday at Skyhawk Field. The game, which is officially recorded as a tie, puts the Purple Knights into the title game where they will face Assumption College tomorrow at 3 p.m. Stonehill plays Saint Anselm College in the consolation game at 12 p.m.
Seniors Cassie Chernicki (Hanson, Mass./Whitman-Hanson Regional) and Marianna Nowacki (Binghamton, N.Y./Binghamton) and juniors Michaela Horne (Southboro, Mass./Algonquin Regional) and Alana Houlihan (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) all converted on chances in the shootout for Saint Michael's. Senior goalkeeper Kaylee Sullivan (East Greenwich, R.I./East Greenwich) stopped four shots for her first career shutout. Juniors Brianna Duserick, Lauren Kapatoes and Andrea Mancuso all netted goals in the shootout for Stonehill and classmate Jamie Block had a three-save shutout.
With both teams knotted at 3-3 after five rounds of penalty kicks and Saint Michael's kicking last, Nowacki converted on her strike to allow the Purple Knights' advancement. The squads reached the shootout after playing two scoreless overtime periods that saw Sullivan record two saves, including a stop off of a corner kick send-in during the 106th minute. Saint Michael's had both of its scoring attempts in extra time miss target.
Saint Michael's held a slight 4-3 shot advantage in the first half aided by early bids from senior Amanda Shanahan (Hull, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) and junior Allegra DiCesare (Lynnfield, Mass./Lynnfield) that were both saved. Stonehill responded with six shots and six corner kicks in the second stanza. With 15 seconds remaining in regulation, the Skyhawks lined up for a corner kick, but were unable to get a shot on net.