Who else but Mallory Schaffer? The junior striker and 2011 CAA Player of the Year came through once more, scoring both of the Tribe’s goals as it overcame a sluggish first-half to beat Delaware 2-1 in the semi-final match of the CAA tournament.
After finishing up a dominant regular season with a 10-1 conference record, the Tribe found itself in the unusual position of trailing an opponent at halftime. A loss would’ve dealt a blow to the College’s NCAA tournament hopes, but Schaffer and the Tribe rose to the occasion. Her game-winner came in the 69th minute, and was the result of a box-to-box counterattack. Sophomore midfielder Dani Rutter passed to junior forward Erin Liberatore, who then sent the ball to the far post, where Schaffer came sliding in to net the goal.
With the win, the Tribe advances to the tournament final against Virginia Commonwealth Sunday at Martin Family Stadium. The Rams, who posted the second best record in the conference and beat Northeastern in the semifinal round, dealt the College its only conference loss of 2011 in the penultimate game of the regular season, 1-0 in Richmond. The Tribe, however, has historically had the upper hand in the series, posting a 17-3-3 record against VCU. A win would give the College its 10th CAA championship.