BLOOMSBURG, Pa. — Adelphi brought home its eighth national championship title Sunday afternoon with a 6-4 defeat of Florida Southern at Steph Pettit Stadium on the campus of Bloomsburg University. For the graduating class, this is the fourth appearance in the title game and third title in four years.
Leading the way for Adelphi (21-1) was all-tournament team member Kate Beier, who finished the contest with four goals on six shots. Beth Ann Pierce and Jacqueline Jahelka, named tournament MVP, also registered lone goals in the win.Beier got things started for the Panthers after five minutes of the opening frame, with a feed from Kole Pollock. The Moccasins wasted no time and commanded action for a good part of the half, rattling off three goals in that time to jump out to a two-goal advantage. Shannon Gilfedder, also an all-tournament team selection was responsible for two of those goals and even converted in a man-up possession. Before the half was able to expire, Beier added her second of the game to bring the Brown and Gold within one of the Mocs courtesy of a pass from Ryley Weber.
Coming out of the locker room, Adelphi was able to even the score on Beier's hat trick goal at 28:28. Pierce was a awarded a free position attempt just over a minute later which she converted after back-to-back fouls and an assessed yellow card to Florida Southern.
"I thought we would score more, but I also knew that we would give up very few [goals]," said head coach Pat McCabe in the postgame press conference. "I knew it was this defense that was going to carry us — they've carried us since I've been here and certainly played a big role this year."
The defense came into play after Pierce's goal gave AU the lead as the Panther defense caused two turnovers before adding another goal at 13:29, this time as Alison Johnson connected with Jahelka for her 72nd of the season. As the clock began to wind down, the home team moved the ball around netminder Taylor Gillis and the Moc defense. A late foul on Gillis set up an open-net free position attempt for Beier, which she buried to give her team a two-goal advantage with five minutes to play.
A late offensive effort from Florida Southern saw Casey O'Brien fire past Peterson but a draw control win for Alyssa Gillespie put the Panthers in control as regulation came to a close with Adelphi on the upper end of a 6-4 final decision.
The Panthers finish the 2017 campaign at 21-1, with their only loss coming in the regular season. This is the eighth title for the program and the third in the last four years. This is the second title under the direction of Coach McCabe.