Sea Gulls overwhelm Messiah in first half; end Messiah's home winning streak of four years
GRANTHAM, Pa. – The last time the No. 2 Salisbury University field hockey team played at Anderson Field the Sea Gulls fell to No. 4 Messiah College with a score of 4-1, but this time the Sea Gulls reversed the outcome, taking down the Falcons 4-1 to end Messiah's home winning streak of 45 games.
Senior Melissa Slocum scored first for the maroon and gold, off an assist from classmate Amber Holland to give SU a 1-0 lead in the first nine minutes of play. Holland would then assist junior Leigh Willing, as the forward deflected Holland's drive into the back of the cage, for the game-winner, with 20 minutes remaining in the first half.
Towards the end of the first half, Messiah committed a foul on the goal line resulting in a penalty stroke that senior Kristina Fusco sent past Falcon goalkeeper Molly Gebrosky (one save), for the 3-0 edge.
Heading into the final 35 minutes of play, Salisbury had a narrow shot advantage (5-4) over Messiah. Both teams had four penalty corners apiece.
Sophomore goalie Rachel Clewer made three saves in the first half to earn the win, her sixth in goal.
Messiah (4-1) proved to be the more dominate team statistically in the second half, outshooting the Sea Gulls 3-1 and earning four penalty corners but Salisbury's defense held strong after giving up a Falcon goal at the 49:06 mark.
With SU leading 3-1 and under 15 minutes to play in the contest, freshman Samantha Johnson added an extra insurance goal, her third of the season.
With the victory, Salisbury ends Messiah's home winning streak of 45 games that dates back to Sept. 13, 2008 when Rowan University upset the Falcons on Anderson Field. This win also is the first for Salisbury since 2004 when the Sea Gulls last beat Messiah, 2-1, on its home field.
The Sea Gulls will now look to Wednesday, Sept. 19, as they host No. 7 Catholic University of America. SU will take the field at 6 p.m.