UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Brianna Banks recorded a hat trick and Penn State Brandywine rolled to a third straight women's soccer conference championship on a wet Wednesday evening on the West Campus Turf Fields. The no. 1 seed handled no. 2 seed Penn State Hazleton in a 7-2 route to capture the PSUAC title and advance to the USCAA Women's Division II National Championship tournament.
Banks opened the scoring in the 17th minute after dribbling around the last Hazleton defender and beating the keeper to the side. Teammate Averie Florschutz scored less than five minutes later on a cross from Banks, finding the back of the net for a 2-0 Brandywine advantage. Banks would strike again just 59 seconds into the second half for a 3-0 lead that looked to be insurmountable.
Hazleton answered with a goal of their own as Emma Wyllie took a long pass from Camille Principe and beat the keeper on a 50-50 ball near the edge of the box, dribbling past for a score to cut the deficit to 3-1. Florschutz didn't waste much time to extend the Brandywine lead back to three, dribbling past the defense and firing just under the keeper's outstretched arms for a 4-1 lead.
Banks added her third and final goal of the evening in the 57th minute, and two minutes later Emily Jefferson added a penalty kick to make it 6-1. Hazleton's Katie Oldziejewski added a goal five minutes later, but Brandywine would take it back to a five goal advantage with another goal from Jefferson in the 67th minute.
Brandywine's Emily Bush finished the night with seven saves, while Brandywine outshot Hazleton 23-12.
Brandyinwe earns the PSUAC's automatic bid to the USCAA Women's Soccer National Championship tournament. The 2018 edition of the USCAA Championship will be the first ever with two divisions, as Brandywine tries to win the first ever Division II title in USCAA Women's Soccer history. They will meet Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences on Friday, November 9 at the Virginia Beach Sports Plex in Virginia Beach, Va.