Nov. 6, 2010

Courtesy of Lebanon Valley

GRANTHAM, Pa. - #2 Lebanon Valley came back from 2-0 down to tie the game in the second half, but #1 Messiah reeled off three unanswered goals to capture its fourth straight Commonwealth Conference championship, 5-2, on Saturday.

The Dutchmen (18-2) will have to wait for a probably at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Falcons (16-2) earn the CC's automatic berth. The bracket will be announced Monday at 9 a.m. on NCAA.com.

LVC got goals from Kelsey Miller and Jocelyn Novak, who had left the game in the first half after being cut by a deflected shot before returning to score her 37th of the year.

Christine Poletti made 12 saves, including a stick-side stop of Kilee Rosenberry's penalty stroke early in the first half.

Messiah had the better of the early chances, and snapped off two quick goals to get on the board, first as Kourtney Ehly tallied from Julie Barton at 19:21, and then on Juliana Hershey's goal from Brooke Sands just 22 seconds later.

Faced with a 2-0 hole, LVC went on the offensive, but it was a defender that got them their first goal; Miller drilled a shot from the arc off Shelly Lobach's corner injection to score at 23:44, her first goal of the year.

LVC worked quickly to level the game in the second half, as Miller created the second goal from the right, and Caitlin Vasey tapped to Novak to tie it 2-2 at 44:19.

But the momentum quickly evaporated as Hershey put Messiah ahead less than two minutes later from tournament MVP Julie Barton, and the Falcons scored two more three minutes apart late in the game - from Kelly Martin and Sands - to ice the game. LVC managed just one shot in the 22-minute span from the time Novak scored to when Cait Eckenrode's bid went wide at in the 66th minute.

Messiah led 27-15 on shots, including 16-8 in the second half; they also led 10-7 on corners. Kayleigh Stewart made four saves.