Berks women's soccer blanks Harrisburg to win 7th straight NEAC title
The Penn State Berks women's soccer team won its seventh straight North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championship and is headed to the NCAA Tournament
The Penn State Berks women's soccer team won its seventh straight North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championship after topping Penn State Harrisburg 5-0 on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 10).
Berks improves to 15-6 on the season and will make its seventh straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Harrisburg closes out the 2019 season with an 11-10-1 overall record. Jeyda Duran was named the NEAC Tournament MVP after scoring one goal in the championship match and turning in stellar midfield play throughout the tournament.
Berks got on the board at the 12:30 mark of the opening period when Sara Hathaway had a shot on goal saved by a defensive player and Emily Clapper collected the rebound and put the ball inside the right post for a 1-0 lead. Following the goal, Berks got off eight more shots — five on goal — for the remainder of the first half, but was not able to extend its lead. Harrisburg recorded two shots in the first half, with Leslie Estrada making the stop on the lone shot on target.
In the second half, both teams had some scoring chances early, but neither could find the back of the net. Berks broke through with a goal in the 64th minute by Duran off a nice cross in the box by Alexis Schoener to make it a 2-0 lead. At the 70:31 mark of the contest, Schoener beat the keeper with a low liner inside the left post off a pass from Hathaway for some breathing room and a 3-0 advantage. In the 78th minute, Hathaway assisted on Clapper's second goal of the game to go ahead 4-0. Megan Jardine capped off the scoring with a successful penalty kick in the 85th minute.
Berks outshot Harrisburg by an 18-5 margin (13-2 on goal) and held a 3-0 advantage on corner kicks. Estrada finished the contest with a pair of saves, while Williams had eight stops for Harrisburg. The strong defensive play of Karina Raykova, Emily Stump, Lydia Cacciola and Kristi Cox helped Berks to pick up its 10th straight shutout win. The midfield play of Jardine, Charlotte Pizzuto, Clapper, JoJo Zolli and Duran did a phenomenal job of keeping the possession for Berks and thwarting Harrisburg attacks all day.
Berks will find out its opponent and where it will travel for the NCAA Tournament during the NCAA Selection Show at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11. To access the video of the selection show, click here.