Sea Gulls suffer tough loss to Wesley in CAC semifinal contest
SALISBURY, Md. – After battling back and forth to keep tied with Wesley College in the Capital Athletic Conference semifinal round, the No. 2 Salisbury University field hockey team could not overcome the Wolverines, falling 4-3, after three rounds of penalty strokes.
Salisbury (15-2) outshot Wesley overall, 18-12, and held a 10-8 edge on penalty corners but had trouble early on finding the back of the cage.
The Wolverines (12-8) would take advantage of a Salisbury yellow card, scoring two times as SU played a woman down. Madison Leone and Lauren Mears put in Wesley's first two goals.
SU junior Emily Voshell scored with five minutes remaining in the first half to pull Salisbury within one after senior Amber Holland sent in a sharp drive, that Voshell tipped past Wesley goalie Elizabeth Groom.
In the second half, Salisbury tied the game just one minute in as senior Melissa Slocum tipped home a shot from classmate Kristina Fusco. Wesley would pull ahead once more as Tristin Burris put the Wolverines up 3-2.
With regulation time expired, and the teams tied at three apiece, the match went into overtime and need a penalty shootout to determine a winner.
At the end of 100 minutes, Salisbury keeper Rachel Clewer had tallied four saves with Groom making seven.
Salisbury saw strong defensive play from freshman Amanda Cooper in both overtimes as well as Holland.
The Sea Gulls came from behind in the first two penalty shootouts to tie the rounds as Clewer made five stops allowing sophomore Summer Washburn, juniors Stacey Lamboni and Voshell, along with seniors Fusco and Henderson the chance to take SU into a third round in the penalty shootout. Ultimately, Wesley would score on its last opportunity by the way of Rachel Joyner to win the game and advance to the CAC championship.
This is the third consecutive season that Wesley has upset a team seeded above them to advance to the CAC championship contest.
Salisbury will now await the announcement of the NCAA Division III Field Hockey tournament bracket (on Monday, Nov. 5) to see if they receive an at-large bid. The SU field hockey program has made 28 NCAA tournament appearances; 24 of those appearances have occurred under the leadership of Head Coach Dawn Chamberlin.