Clinched! Lady Barons Secure Playoff Berth with Win

Clinched! Lady Barons Secure Playoff Berth with Win

STEUBENVILLE – Senior Megan Luiso led the Franciscan women's soccer team to an AMCC playoff-clinching win over Penn St.-Altoona as the Lady Barons defeated the Lions, 3-1, Wednesday afternoon.

Luiso finished the day with her first career hattrick as pushed her season goal total to seven, marking the highest goal total of her career in a season. Luiso has been a spark for the Lady Baron offense and has three of the team's seven game-winning goals.

The senior's first goal of the game came 24:26 into action after junior goalie Sarah Luebking made three to keep the Lions off of the scoreboard. After the third save, the Lady Barons and Lions battled for possession until Annie McGraw sent a long ball from the midfield into the box and drew the Altoona goalie off her line. Luiso finished the ball into an unguarded net for her first tally of the game.

The Lions responded just over 13 minutes later to tie the game at 1-1, but Franciscan was able to control possession for the remainder of the first half and after a shot from Gracie Tillman ricocheted off a goalie save, Luiso put the ball back on net, this time getting it past the goalie to give FUS a 2-1 lead with 2:13 to play in the half. Tillman had one final shot on goal but was turned away and the two teams went into the break with the Lady Barons leading 2-1.

The Lady Baron defense shined in the second half as FUS limited the Lions to just two shots in the final 45 minutes, none on goal to keep Altoona off the board. Senior Sarah Schriner was a big difference maker in the Lady Baron defense, clearing balls out of the box and protecting her keeper.

Luiso put the finishing touches on her hat trick with 1:44 to play as senior Clare Kennedy collected a loose ball outside the box and flicked it to Luiso, who was charging at the net. Luiso finished the shot to give Franciscan a 3-1 lead and seal the victory.

While the win clinches the Lady Barons a playoff spot, they still have one game left to help secure a home game. Franciscan will travel to Medaille on Saturday and face the Mavericks at 3:30 pm in Franciscan's final regular season AMCC contest.