WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia -Sophomore Sam Scolarici scored at the 103:39 mark to lead fifth-seeded Hofstra to a 2-1 double-overtime victory over third-seeded UNCW in the championship game of the 2012 CAA Women's Soccer Championship Sunday at Albert-Daly Field on the campus of William & Mary.
The Pride improved to 11-8-2 overall as they won the league title for the third time in school history (2005 & 2007). Hofstra also receives the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Making their first championship game appearance since winning the CAA title in 2009, the Seahawks finished the season with a 12-7-3 record.
After both teams were unable to register a shot during the first overtime session, Scolarici teamed up with sophomore Lulu Echeverry just under four minutes into the second overtime session to score the game-winning tally. Echeverry gained possession in the Seahawks half and worked her way up the middle of the field before finding a streaking Scolarici at the top of the box. Scolarici was able to create separation from the UNCW defenders on the right side before sending a shot from 12 yards out into the lower-left hand corner of the net for her 10th goal of the season.
Earlier in the contest, Echeverry put the Pride up 1-0 in the seventh minute, tapping home a cross from freshman Leah Galton for her eighth goal of the season.
The Seahawks created several scoring opportunities after the Echeverry strike before finally drawing even at the 37:22 mark of the first half. Senior Stephanie Rose converted a penalty kick opportunity after sophomore Stephanie Bronson was taken down inside the box. The goal was Rose's league-leading 14th tally of the season.
UNCW nearly took the lead moments after the Rose strike as freshman Maddie McCormick teamed up with Rose on a give-and-go opportunity to create space before the McCormick sent a shot that beat Morphitis to the right side, but slid past the outside of the post.
Seahawk senior Kim Currie had the first opportunity of the second half, getting behind the Pride defense on the left side in the 52nd minute before sending a shot towards the lower right-hand corner of the net that Morphitis was able to get her left foot on to keep the game level.
McCormick almost found the back of the net in the 57th minute, sending a volley from the right side of the box that hit the top of the crossbar before continuing out of play.
Freshman Jeannine Molleda had the best opportunity of the second half for the Pride, battling her way through two UNCW defenders in the 72nd minute before firing a shot from six yards out that went to the outside of the right post.
McCormick had a pair of scoring opportunities in the final 11 minutes of regulation. In the 79th minute, McCormick unleashed a shot from the right side that Morphitis was able to keep out of the net. Less than three minutes later, McCormick was able to get to a loose ball at the top of the box and knock it past an oncoming Morphitis, but the Pride defense was able to clear the ball away before it crossed the goal line.
Hofstra posted a 20-19 shot advantage in the contest and enjoyed a 4-2 edge in corner kicks taken. Morphitis and UNCW senior keeper Caitlin Hunter finished the game with six saves apiece.