(Posted October 20, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College forward Erin Eddinger's (Barto, Pa./Boyertown) goal with just over three minutes left in the first overtime period lifted the Eagles to a 3-2 Landmark Conference win over Susquehanna University, Wednesday afternoon on Winton Hill Field.

It wasn't just the come-from-behind win that Juniata (9-6-0, 3-2-0 Landmark) clinched with Eddinger's tally, her fourth of the season. The victory also secured Juniata's spot in the upcoming Landmark Conference Women's Soccer Tournament, giving the Eagles their third post-season berth over the last four seasons.

"That I can remember? Yeah, definitely," said a beaming Eddinger, when asked if the goal was the biggest of her career. "That was an exciting one for me."

Freshman Alexandra Malinowski (Livonia Center, N.Y./Livonia) started the play, with a half-shot, half-cross attempt toward the Susquehanna goal from about 25 yards out. Eddinger found the ball on the left side off a deflection in front of the Crusader goal, and finished into the far corner - finishing off Susquehanna in the process.

"Before we went out, coach said 'before you take your shot, the last thing I want you to think is relax', and as I saw the ball just lying there, the last thing that actually went through my mind was - relax," said Eddinger. "I knew I wanted to put the ball corner, but at that point I didn't know if I'd be able to."

The Eagles had to play catch-up with the Crusaders (5-9-1, 1-3-0 Landmark) twice to eventually force the overtime sesssion.

After a scoreless first half, Angela Amato put Susquehanna on the board in the 51st minute, finishing a cross from Samantha Price. The Crusader lead was short-lived, however, as freshman Jennifer Graves (Manchester, Conn./Manchester) headed a ball past Susquehanna keeper Rachel Norbuts to knot the score at 1-1. Eddinger set up the goal with a direct kick from approximately 30 yards out, and Graves shook a Crusader defender to find space inside the six-yard box to finish the play.

The Crusaders looked like they might steal the win with a goal in the 85th minute, with Alison Chavers putting an uncontested shot into the Juniata goal.

A high arcing shot from about 40 yards bounced in front of Juniata keeper Lauren Auster-Gussman (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Country Day) about 12 yards out from the Eagle goal, then took an unusually high second bounce over Auster-Gussman's head. Chavers ran on into the six-yard box, and waited for the ball to come back down where she redirected the ball into the net.

Susquehanna's second lead lasted no longer than its first, and came on a set piece late in the 88th minute.

Freshman Alicia Snyder's (Jonestown, Pa./Northern Lebanon) initial blast, a direct kick from 25 yards out, caromed left off Susquehanna's defensive wall. Snyder tracked down her own rebound and lofted a shot into the upper right corner, perfectly placed for the unassisted goal.

That set the stage for Juniata's goal in the eighth minute of the first overtime period, which triggered a celebratory mosh by Juniata on the field around Eddinger.

"We didn't play great today - we played just okay - but what I liked is that we came back from the brink of our season ending twice," said Juniata head coach Scott McKenzie. "That shows some character and toughness, and we'll need to draw on both of those when we get to the post-season."

Susquehanna outshot Juniata 15-14 over the 98-minute contest, and each team had seven corner kick opportunities. Auster-Gussman finished with five saves, as did Susquehanna keeper Norbuts.

"Another positive for us is our young players played well today,"said McKenzie. "Two of our goals and one assist came from freshmen, and that bodes well for our future."

Juniata has a final Landmark Conference test this Saturday, Oct. 23, when it travels to Scranton, Pa., to face the University of Scranton at 1:00 p.m. The Eagles will then close out their regular season on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at home against Franklin & Marshall College.

The Landmark Conference Tournament opens on Wednesday, Nov. 3, with semifinal games. Matchups and times have not been determined.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.