MIDDLETOWN, Pa.- After defeating SUNYIT in a first round game on Tuesday, Nov. 1, Penn State Harrisburg's 2011 season came to an end with a 1-0 loss to eventual tournament champion Penn State Abington in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 5. Penn State Harrisburg, the tournament's number three seed, held Abington, the number two seed, scoreless for over 60 minutes. But the Lions were unable to answer Brianna Heck's (Willow Grove, PA/Archbishop Wood) goal in the game's 64th minute and ultimately fell to their opponents.
The most telling stat from the postseason matchup was the fact that Penn State Abington outshot the blue and white 21-2. Penn State Harrisburg goalkeeper Janelle Hammond (New Cumberland, PA/Cedar Cliff) made ten saves while Abington keeper Gabrielle Benedict (Jamison, PA/Central Bucks West) only had to make one stop to preserve the shutout.
In a season full of nagging injuries (at midseason six Penn State Harrisburg women were unable to play), the Lions finished the year 10-5 overall and 8-3 in conference play. Hammond was named the NEAC women's soccer student-athlete of the week in October and five ladies, Lindsey Haldeman (Grantville,PA/Hershey Christian), Jessie Manion (North Wales, PA/North Penn), Bridget Brady (Boyertown, PA/Brandywine Heights), Lacey Eitl (Collegeville, PA/Perkiomen Valley) and Nikki Francis (Pottstown, PA/Owen J. Roberts), earned all-conference honors. Most impressively, the squad qualified for the NEAC championship weekend for the third consecutive season.