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WVC grads shine in national semifinal defeats

Meyers grad Conrad stars for Syracuse. Iowa has trio from area, including captain Blaum.

A handful of former Wyoming Valley Conference players saw their collegiate seasons come to an end Friday night in the semifinals of the NCAA field hockey championships in Louisville, Ky.

But not without a few outstanding individual performances by the local players.

Former Meyers standout Lindsay Conrad scored a pair of goals for Syracuse, but it wasn’t quite enough as the third-seeded Orange suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to No. 2 seed Wake Forest in the second game of the doubleheader.

Coughlin product Heather Susek is also a member of the Syracuse squad, which finished the season with a record of 22-2.

Following a 45-minute delay to de-ice the artificial playing surface, Wake Forest’s Hilary Moore scored the first of her three goals to give the Demon Deacons a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the contest.

But Conrad had an answer, moving the ball to the upper right corner of the circle and lofting a high shot past Wake Forest goalkeeper Crystal Duffield to tie the game at 1-1 at the 19:43 mark of the first half.

Following another Moore goal, Conrad struck again. This time, the Big East Player of the Year found the back of the cage on a rebound shot to tie the game at 2-2 with 12:50 remaining in the contest.

Moore proved to be too much for the Orange, however, scoring 9:04 into the seven-on-seven overtime period to propel Wake Forest (22-3) into the championship game against ACC rival Maryland (21-2). The title game will be played at 1 p.m. today at the University of Louisville.

In the first national semifinal game, three former WVC standouts took the field for fourth-seeded Iowa, which suffered a 2-1 double-overtime loss to No. 1 seed Maryland.

Wyoming Seminary product Caroline Blaum is a captain for the Hawkeyes, while Crestwood products Lissa Munley and Caitlin McCurdy are also members of the starting lineup as goalkeeper and forward, respectively.

The game was dominated by players from Pennsylvania.

Former Wissahickon standout Katie O’Donnell scored the game-winning goal for Maryland. Boyertown product Alicia Grater made six saves, including a pair of diving saves in the second overtime, to get the win and Palmyra product Brianna Davies assisted on Maryland’s first goal.

With her team trailing 1-0, Blaum made a nice pass off a penalty corner to teammate Lauren Pfeiffer, who found the back of the cage to make the score 1-1 with approximately 15 minutes remaining in regulation.

Munley played well despite the loss, making four saves. The first goal allowed by the former Crestwood goalkeeper was a shot that was deflected off a teammate’s stick and went over the head of a helpless Munley.

Iowa finished the season with a record of 18-5. The Hawkeyes also won their third consecutive Big Ten tournament championship.

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