Women's Soccer Breezes Into NEAC Semis

Women's Soccer Breezes Into NEAC Semis

Keuka College senior Jessica Bandrowski (Center Moriches, NY/Center Moriches) ranks among the nation's best Division III women's soccer players in points per game, and during Saturday's North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) quarterfinal, Bandrowski helped lead the Storm into the semifinals.

Bandrowski, a two-time, first-team All-NEAC forward, scored three goals with an assist and classmate Britni Burch (Arkport, NY/Arkport) added a goal to spark the fifth-seeded Storm (9-5-1) past No. 4 Cazenovia 4-1 on Christakos Field in Cazenovia, N.Y.

It was Bandrowski's sixth multi-goal effort this year, and her third hat trick.

With the win, Keuka advances into the NEAC semifinals for the first time since winning the tournament in 2010.

Keuka will face No. 1 seed Penn State-Berks (14-3-1, 11-0) at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the first of two NEAC semifinals. Berks defeated the Storm 5-0 on Oct. 19.

Berks and Penn State-Abington (13-2-1, 10-1), the No. 2 seed, received byes into the semifinals.

Lancaster Bible College (13-7) earned the No. 3 seed and will face Abington in the other semifinal after the Chargers dispatched of No. 6 SUNYIT 4-2 in Saturday's other quarterfinal.

The championship game is Sunday, Nov. 10, with the winner earning the NEAC's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III tournament.

"We played with a ton of heart and left everything on the field today," said first-year head coach Steve Christenson. "This was a total team effort. We worked so hard for each other and we covered for each other. If we got beat, we worked hard for each other to recover, and today was an absolute team effort. The tone was set from minute one. For the first 20 minutes, we won every 50-50 ball and made every tackle and this was one of our best performances of the year."

The Green and Gold wasted little time in avenging a 3-0 setback vs. Cazenovia (8-10)

Keuka would score three times in the first 18:07 to break the quarterfinal wide open.

Bandrowski staked the Storm to a 1-0 lead on an eighth-minute goal. After dribbling in from midfield, Bandrowski sent her shot towards the far post for an early Keuka lead.

That lead was extended to 2-0 after freshman Abbey David (Kendall, NY/Kendall) sent a free kick into the box for Bandrowski, who finished from the end line in the 13th minute.

After a Keuka student-athlete was taken down in the box in the 19th minute, a penalty kick was awarded, and Bandrowski sent her shot into the right corner of the goal for a 3-0 lead.

The Storm's defense clamped down and held Cazenovia scoreless for the first 78 minutes until Emily Graham broke free for a goal in the 79th minute. But Keuka's defense held and the Wildcats were unable to pull any closer.

Burch closed out the scoring off a corner kick from Bandrowski with 41 seconds remaining for her first goal of the year.

Junior Ashley Swarts (Arkport, NY/Arkport) stopped seven shots to propel the Storm into the semifinals.

Bandrowski has 43 points on 17 goals and nine assists. She ranks second in the NEAC in assists and is third in both goals and points. She is averaging 3.58 points per game and currently ranks fifth in the country in points per game and 10th in goals per game.