SALISBURY, Md. – It took nearly 77 minutes of action, but the No. 2-ranked Salisbury University field hockey team earned a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory against Capital Athletic Conference opponent Christopher Newport University on Wednesday evening.
Prior to the game, the team celebrated its six seniors – Annah Brittingham, Hannah Miller, Casie Preisch, Becca Rinaca, Abbey Shobe, and Jessie Todd. Together, the seniors have earned three-straight CAC Championships and will look to make it four in a row with the start of the CAC tournament on October 30.
The Sea Gulls (12-1, 4-0 CAC) dominated the stat sheet, but were only able to put one goal on the board in regulation. That score came off the stick of Brittingham in the 16th minute as she collected her own rebound and fired the ball past Christopher Newport goalkeeper Bailey Lien. With a 10-0 advantage in shots and 6-0 edge in penalty corners in the first half alone, it appeared as though the Sea Gulls were in excellent position.
But the Captains (12-4, 2-2 CAC) would not go quietly. They came out of halftime firing on all cylinders, earning four straight penalty corners in a matter of minutes, and a lapse in Salisbury's defense allowed CNU's Rachel Cooke to capitalize on a gap on the left side of the goal. With 27 minutes left to play, the teams were tied at 1-1.
Aggressive play on both sides of the ball would render both the Sea Gulls and Captains scoreless through the remaining minutes of regulation, though Salisbury had two penalty corner opportunities in the last 40 seconds but was unable to capitalize.
When Christopher Newport took possession early in the overtime period and Shobe was called for a green card – leaving the Sea Gulls one player down – the Salisbury defense dug deep and was able to push the ball downfield for the offense to do its job. In the 77th minute, Brittingham ripped the ball from the right side of the circle, where sophomore Madison Angulas was waiting in front of the goal to finish the play for her first career goal and give the Gulls their first overtime victory of the season.
Overall, Salisbury held an 18-3 advantage in shots – 13 of which were on goal – and a 15-5 edge in penalty corners.
Salisbury now focuses its attention to another CAC opponent – St Mary's College of Maryland. The Sea Gulls are set to travel to St. Mary's City on Saturday, October 22 to take on the Seahawks; game time is set for noon.