PHILADELPHIA – The top-seeded La Salle women’s soccer team (15-3-2, 9-0-1 A-10) advanced to the A-10 Championship semifinal with a 3-2 win over No. 8 Dayton (9-9-2, 4-4-2 A-10) on Saturday afternoon at McCarthy Stadium. The Explorers will take on No. 4 Duquesne on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Sports Backer Stadium in Richmond, Va.
Sophomore Jess Shanahan gave La Salle a 3-1 lead with a goal in the 83rd minute, which held up as the game-winner after Dayton’s Kaitlynn Kiehl scored to make it 3-2 with just over five minutes left.
Shanahan’s goal was her second of the year, coming after taking a pass from Maci Bower and streaking down the left sideline to beat the keeper inside the near post.
Kiehl’s score in the 85th minute quickly made it a one-goal game again after La Salle appeared to pull away. Keagin Collie headed a Quincy Kellett throw-in towards the box to a charging Kiehl, who tucked it inside the far post to make the final 5:03 tension-filled.
The Flyers held a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal and a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks in the game, but the Explorers were able to stay in front thanks to five saves by Larisa Zambelli.
La Salle got on the board just 2:25 into the action when a Dayton defender deflected a La Salle cross off the post, which Maci Bower gathered and punched in for the score. The goal was Bower’s ninth of the season.
The Explorers took a 2-0 lead into the break after Kristin Haugstad scored in the 33rd minute, also her ninth of the year. Madison Bower played a ball to the top of the box that Haugstad elevated over Dayton keeper Emily Jones to give the Explorers a two-goal advantage.
Dayton chipped into La Salle’s lead early in the second half when Alexis Keihl scored for the 12th time this season, cutting down the left side of the box to drive home
La Salle will play fourth-seeded Duquesne, who defeated fifth-seeded George Washington in double-overtime, on Friday, Nov. 3 at 2:00 pm in the A-10 semifinals. The semifinals of the championship will be played at VCU's Sports Backers Stadium on Friday at 2:00 and 4:30 pm, while Sunday's finale will be held at noon.