On Saturday, Nov. 5, Drew’s Women’s Soccer Team traveled to Scranton, P.A. to battle out a gritty Landmark Conference Championship Final against the University of Scranton Royals. The first half was marked by several attacking chances from both sides. Both the Rangers and Royals were able to make offensive runs down the right side, with wingers not being afraid to drive at fullbacks and push the ball forward to find space for the crosses. The Rangers received their first real chance of the game when a poor clearance bounced favorably for an awaiting Drew attacker, who threaded the ball through for Alexa Krause (’25) to hammer a shot straight at a well-positioned Scranton keeper. Scranton looked threatening once the game got underway, managing to twist their way through the midfield, showcasing some displays of impressive skill on-the-ball throughout the game. However, the Rangers defense held their ground and disposed of several dangerous plays from the opposition. Both teams fought vigorously for the ball, resulting in an intense back-and-forth tempo of play throughout the first half. Scranton were able to test Drew’s first-half keeper, Amina Cirkiel (’25), a couple of times, but Cirkiel had no problems keeping the ball out of the back of the net.
The Rangers kicked off the second half with a determined momentum. The players passed the ball around with calm composure, carving out some attacking opportunities but unfortunately falling short of a finish. Drew was able to pile on the pressure in the opening minutes of the half, capitalizing off of some errors and forcing play into the opponent’s final third. The Royals found their feet around the 65th minute and were able to turn the run of play in their favor, finding space in the deep midfield and working passes behind Drew’s defensive line. The Rangers found themselves on the back pedal after the opposition were able to create numerous attacking chances from the wide positions, pressing dangerously in and around Drew’s penalty area. The Royals racked up 10 corners in the second half, forcing a tiring Rangers side to remain defensively vigilant and thus holding possession in the Rangers half. Thanks to a relentless defense and a spectacular goalkeeping performance from both Rangers keepers—Cirkiel and Anthi Panayides (’22), who recorded seven combined saves,- Drew held the home side to a goalless draw right up until the last twenty seconds of the game. The visitors could do nothing to prevent an incredible shot from outside the box, which curled into the top left corner of the net to seal a Royals Championship victory.
Needless to say, the Rangers were devastated by such a last-minute loss. However, having gone so far in the competition, showcasing incredible soccer and proving such a united team with an unrelenting determination, the Rangers have every reason to believe that they can go that extra mile in years to come and bring home that championship title.