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Garnet Women's Soccer Wins Conference Championship in Dramatic Fashion

The women's soccer team poses fora photo with the Centennial Conference Championship banner

The Swarthmore College women's soccer team captured the Centennial Conference championship in dramatic fashion on Sunday night, toppling host and top seed Johns Hopkins in a penalty shootout.

As a result of the penalty shootout win, the Garnet earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, marking the fourth consecutive season that the team has advanced to the NCAA playoffs.

The second-seeded Garnet and Blue Jays were deadlocked 2-2 after regulation and overtime on Saturday, forcing the game to be decided in a shootout.

Swarthmore advanced after making three penalty kicks to Hopkins' one. Sommer Denison '18, who converted from a field player to a goalkeeper this season, earned the tournament's MVP honors after entering the game for the shootout and saving a pair of attempts.

The Garnet led off the shootout with Sydney Covitz '20 tucking in her attempt. Hopkins followed up with a make. Maddy Carens '20 scored for Swarthmore on the next chance and Hopkins shanked its next try wide right. Katie Dougherty '18 found the back of the net to put Swarthmore ahead 3-1. Denison then saved the next two Blue Jays' shots to secure the championship. As Denison scooped up the final attempt, the team rushed across the field to celebrate the championship with their keeper.

Early in the game, it appeared that the end result would be in Swarthmore's favor based on two Garnet goals in the first 30 minutes. However, the game took a turn in the second half and Hopkins out-shot Swarthmore 14-1 in that period.

Seneca Kinn-Gurzo '20 put Swarthmore on the board in the 15th minute, deflecting in a cross from Marin McCoy '19. McCoy, who has 18 goals on the year, a new school record, put Swarthmore ahead 2-0 in the 27th minute with a strong strike following a cross from Hannah Lichtenstein '18.

The Blue Jays scored their first goal in the 58th minute, cleaning up a rebound off the post and then struck again in the 62nd minute with a goal into the upper left corner of the goal.

Swarthmore goalkeeper Amy Shmoys '19 recorded a season-high eight saves. She recorded three of her saves in overtime as Hopkins out-shot Swarthmore 8-1 in extra time.

Sunday's championship is the second in the history of the Swarthmore women's soccer program. The last time, also settled with PKs, came on Nov. 9, 2014 against none other than Johns Hopkins University.

The Garnet (14-3-2) will find out its NCAA Tournament destination on Monday at 1 p.m. Watch the Selection Show.

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