Messiah dominates Misericordia 3-0, earns national title game appearance
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Defending national champion Messiah came to life in the second half to shut out Misericordia 3-0 on Friday in the NCAA tournament semifinals at Blossom Soccer Stadium.
Messiah (23-1-1) will face Emory (15-1-7) in the women's final on Saturday. Messiah, the winner of four national titles, will play in its sixth consecutive NCAA final.
"You don't really start a season saying that you are going to get to the end every time," head coach Scott Frey said. "Each group is different, and that is something you learn in coaching really quickly. We always talk about playing our best at the end of the season, and that's what we've done. Things have come together."
Messiah and Misericordia played to a scoreless tie in the first half. Senior midfielder Rachel Scheibeler broke the deadlock with a goal in the 54th minute for the Falcons. Nikki Elsaesser added a score in the 56th minute, and Elizabeth Phillips capped it off in the 83rd minute.
"We had to keep the energy up and keep pressing them," Scheibeler said. "We just kept playing our system, and that was our focus in the second half. We just do things as a unit, and work together to get it done."
The Falcons overwhelmingly led in total shots 23-2 and had 12 on goal. The Cougars were not allowed a shot on goal. Misericordia goalkeeper Maureen Ciccosanti recorded eight saves. The Cougars finished the year with a 20-3-2 mark.